technical document translation

How to ensure a quality technical document translation

(Last Updated On: July 25, 2017)

Large corporations today face a major challenge: quality technical document translation. Before you entrust your technical translation to any translator or translation agency, you should first have in mind some important things. You can make a checklist for your documents in which you should include the elements outlined in this article.

Technical document translation – how to ensure quality output


Before you send your document for translation, you should first check with your technical team that it has been examined and whether the document can be translated, and it`s content be understood, whether the document is standardized or if it contains cultural elements or international characters.

In technical documents, it is not recommended to use slang and idioms because they are more difficult to translate and finding the correct meaning of the word in a foreign language is a time consuming and difficult task.

Define the scope

Everybody knows that without defining the scope, there is no point of sending the document to your translation agency. Your partner for translation needs to know the shape and scope of final deliverables. If you have a dictionary it would be desirable to send it along with the original document. It can save a lot of time and effort on both parts.


The key to almost every technical document is automation. Before sending a technical document to a translation agency, it is desirable to make sure that cross-references, content, indexes etc. can be automated. It is advisable to see the changes in imagery and size in the document. Also remember to upload a style sheet and all specifications together with the document. Technical document translation doesn’t include desktop publishing services and if your document is not properly formatted you may have to pay for this extra service.

Compress documents

It is better to send the documents in compressed form to your translation provider. This prevents damages to the font and implements a quick transmission of the documents.

Leave space

Often, if there is an increase in the number of words in the document, translation agencies will re-format the document. It is quite difficult to maintain the same sense of the sentence by translation between two different languages. This can increase number of words in translation from one language to another.

Linking graphics

To reduce the size of the document it is better to use linking graphics. Before handing your project to the translators, it is good idea to attach graphics in the technical document. It is easier to update or replace the graphics that are related instead to build them further.

Send the source files

The translation agency most often requires source files of the document. If the document contains pictures and graphics, then they may need the source file. Also it saves quite a lot of work and time. Each translation agency has experts who will enter text and images but they need your source file.  While with the original format, it is better to send the file in PDF format.

Whenever you plan to hire a translator keep in mind the above recommendations when it comes to technical document translation, doing so will allow the translator to work faster and provide a higher quality output.

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