Basics of technical translation: how to translate technical documentation?

Technical translation is a translation of texts that contain technical information, terms, and various accurate data. The text itself can be in different languages. This translation requires special approach, because the specialist apart from good command of a language must know a specialized terminology.

Among such texts there are various documents for technical products, machines, equipment. In this case materials contain a lot of specific data, terms and complex information. It is necessary to comply with a high level of reliability and accuracy of a source. It is essential to find a correct translation of technical terms to ensure that the information matches the source. It is also desirable to maintain the structure and order of rendition.

Technical style features

In the basis of technical translation of the text and the style of writing in general lies a collective, formal-logical principle of the rendition. This text has a special structure and is characterized by a number of important factors:

  • The style of writing is notable for impersonal and dry rendition.
  • The text should have no emotional coloring.
  • Long philosophical introductions are undesirable.
  • It is important to render information accurately.
  • Preference is given to a normalized speech.

The most important thing is that the text should be dry, capacious and contain all the necessary information. This type of work has serious requirements. That is why not every translator can perform technical translation in Kyiv. It is necessary to take into account the specifics of the text, to understand the subject.

Materials for translation

The source language for translation can be English, Spanish, Portuguese and any other language. Also, the materials may have a different view. Most often translation is required for:

  • Textbooks.
  • Diplomas, reports.
  • Books.
  • Scientific articles for international publications.
  • Instructions for equipment, machines.

It is important to understand that technical translation is not just a presentation of information in another language. You need to follow the sequence, a clear logical structure of the text. Therefore, a specialist must have profound knowledge in this area.

Form of translation

The form of presentation is of great importance. Technical work usually requires a written fixation. This is due to the fact that in everyday, conversational communication there is lot of unnecessary information, the loss of which is not in danger. Technical works contain a lot of accurate data and specific information, the loss of which may cause serious distortion of the content.


In none of the forms of rendition we can find as many terms as in the translation of complex technical texts. Therefore, a translator must have perfect knowledge of the subject, albeit he does not know the meaning of all the terms, but at least knows how they are written correctly and in what binding.

Technical translation requires careful study of the material, the preservation of all data and terms. Even a small mistake can greatly distort the meaning of the whole work. Therefore, the translator must take into account all the subtleties and nuances of the text.

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