What is Manual Translation and What is the Difference Between General Manual Translation and Technical Manual Translation?
General Manual Translation is for manuals that are user-friendly, meaning that these manuals are prepared for users who do not have technical skills and are likely using a product for the first time. When you order a piece of furniture and assemble it yourself, that manual provided is a general user manual. Everything from children’s toys to home coffee machines comes with a manual for users, including instructions for set-up, assembly, troubleshooting, and more.
On the other hand, Technical Manual Translation relies heavily on user knowledge of industry terms and processes. Technical manuals include instructions for assembly, repair, use, troubleshooting, and most especially how to operate the product safely. Heavy machinery and equipment used in auto assembly, farming equipment, elevators, and so on all require technical manuals.
For technical manuals, both author and reader must share much knowledge. When translation is involved, this then requires a third person (or more likely an entire team!) to have expert knowledge as well, so that the precision and expertise of the original manual writer gets through to the user without any errors or omissions.
Why is Professional Technical Manual Translation Important?
Expert Technical Manual Translation services most importantly helps ensure employee safety. Without proper and easily legible instructions, especially when operating heavy, dangerous, or costly machinery, employee safety is at risk. In addition to employee health and safety, this is also a huge financial risk for the company. Damage to machinery is another costly consequence of poorly translated manuals.
What Services Do We Offer?
We offer General Manual and Technical Manual Translation in the following fields and more:
Technology and software
Health care and medicals
We do user manual translations. We translate machinery manuals, catalogs, brochures, product sheets, technical specifications, technical manuals for medical devices, etc.
We offer the following:
English to Spanish technical translations
Spanish to English technical translations
German to English technical translations
French to English technical translations, and
Chinese to English technical translations, among others.
What Does this Process Look Like?
In a perfect world, we’d be able to translate using source files in a text rich format. In other words, the translation company would receive either the complete In-Design package or at least the IDML files. However, most of the time, we receive the manual in PDF and the customer requires a PDF as the final file format as well. This scenario requires meticulous project management from the get-go since we are creating the editable text from scratch. Preparing the content for translation is the first key and crucial step for a smooth translation process. Numbers, codes, and recurrent symbols are oftentimes removed from the content, for instance, when turning the PDF file into an editable file.
The second important step is the development of a style guide and/or instructions sheet the translator can refer to. Translator needs to know, for instance, what numerical system is to be used (such as metric versus imperial), if any conversion is needed, how to treat capitalization, what words can be abbreviated due to space constraints, etc. If the client has a preferred glossary or preferred terminology, it needs to be provided at this stage. After translation is completed and reviewed by highly specialized and experienced translators, the DTP or layout begins. In other words, the translation agency is to mimic the same layout and design of the original document in the translated document. This step requires several rounds of reviews by multilingual DTP experts and final proofing by the translators. We also recommend a proof paper review before we can call the translation final and ready for printing or web upload. Thus, we can guarantee the translation is as precise and accurate as it was in the original language.
Contact us at Language Concepts LLC today and get a free quote on your translation project.