Scientific-technical texts are known to be structurally complicated. They are rich in specific turns of speech, as well as in some epistolary expressions, that make the translation difficult and present a further challenge for the translator. At the same time, almost half of all the texts, translated at our Agency, refer to one of the subject areas of technical texts.
Technical text structure and the specificity of technical translation
Technical texts do not have any stylistic nuances, but require the translator to have terminology
skills and sufficient experience level in the relevant technical area. Technical translations reveal a higher standardization degree of texts and terminology. Sometimes the subject of a technical translation
can be so particular, that the assistance of a translator with technical education
is required. Technical texts often contain abbreviations and acronyms known to a narrow circle of specialists.
A feature of technical translation is the presentation of the material with the least amount of expressive elements that lend emotional intensity to the text; a key focus here is on the logical aspect of the text. The translator tries to obviate the possibility of loose interpretations of the translated text; therefore the translation sounds stiffly and non-emotional.
The richest special terminology features the technical translation in terms of vocabulary. The translator continually has to use specialized dictionaries and glossaries. The sentences in the technical text are quite formal, some patterns need to be changed or adapted with help of target language analogs.
Stylistically the technical text composition looks “broken” and presents a large number of illustrations, drawings and sheets. Due to particular subject area technical translation cannot be performed by a translator with no experience in this area. Uncommon types of technical translations are carried out by a team of specialists: by the translator doing the main operation of the translation and the editor who proofreads and corrects the text, choosing the specialized terminology. This process takes longer and costs more than a standard translation. Find more about the cost of technical translation.
So where are the limits of translator’s specialization, beyond which a humanist is no longer able to perform a high-quality technical translation? In what case a technical translation must be performed by a technician rather than a translator? We put a lot of effort, generalizing our translators’ and editors’ experience, and dare to hope that this will be the best advertisement for our services. Engineer vs. Linguist