Technical Writers & Technical Translators: The Dream Team

Technical Writers & Technical Translators: The Dream Team

Technology is an integral part of our daily lives. In order to truly engage with the ever-evolving array of tools and machines at our disposal, we need to understand how to use them. Enter the Technical Writer.

We all know and appreciate that technical writers are tasked with providing accessible content for their audience, but what happens when a brand wants to go global? The technical writer needs to relinquish control of their beloved project to ensure that users from Marseille to Montevideo have the same precise and informative documents. Enter the Technical Translator.

What is a technical translator?

As well as being a highly qualified linguist with a wealth of translation and revision experience, a technical translator – surprise, surprise – needs to be knowledgeable when it comes to technical content! This means that a technical translator has experience working with technical writing, is comfortable working in the correct style and has in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and associated terminology. It is also essential that they remain up-to-date with the latest versions of common tools in the technical writing field, such as MadCap Flare, DITA, Indesign and Framemaker.

How to select the correct translation company

We all know that relinquishing control over a project can be hard, especially when you can’t read the finished article because it's been translated to a different language. So how do you trust the translation agency to live up to the high standards of your technical department?

Experience
Check the list of services a company offers, and more importantly, ask for relevant case studies

  • Operating manuals
  • Safety instructions
  • User guides
  • CE documents
  • Product descriptions

Quality

  • What are the quality processes that the company adheres to in regards to technical translation?
  • Do they have ISO 17100 certification?
  • Does the LSP use native linguists with a background in technical writing?
  • Is content checked by a second linguist who is also qualified?
  • Is there an option to have your subject experts locally validate the content?
  • What is their approach to terminology and tools such as translation management and glossaries?

Armed with the right questions, you can weed out the pretenders and complete your global technical writing dream team. Select the correct technical translation talent to support your technical writers and be understood perfectly in all your markets.