Technical translation covers a wide range of fields, each as varied as the next. These may include energy, electronics, mechanical engineering, physics, IT and the environment. The documents to be translated are therefore very diverse and require a high level of knowledge and range from machine operating manuals, safety manuals, online help, contract specifications to catalogues, etc.
As a rule, a good technical translator only specialises in a few very specific fields, as he/she cannot excel in everything. Indeed, the vocabulary used in the translation of a financial report is far removed from that which one would use for a technical notice. Furthermore, the technical translator must ensure the accuracy of her/his translation, as a mistranslation can have serious consequences, as an incorrect translation of safety instructions could lead to accidents.
Technical translation requires the special skill of visualising and grasping what is being written. That said, the terms used are often very precise and the translator is rarely faced with the problem of choosing between several words to find the most appropriate one. However, the translator must know what he or she is talking about, use appropriate terminology, as each term used is of paramount importance, and also be very thorough.
Although many people think that, unlike literary translation, technical translation is a very restrictive world that does not allow the translator to develop his or her sense of creativity and leads to frustration, this idea is far from being true. Moreover, although many candidates are attracted to literary translation, technical translation offers more job opportunities.
There are specialised training courses for the translation of technical documents. The technical translator completes a minimum of 5 years of training after obtaining a school-leaving certificate or baccalaureate to obtain a translation school diploma or a professional master’s degree in specialised translation. In the course of his/her studies, a technical translator follows a wide range of courses, from mechanical engineering to medicine, finance and marketing. Most courses end with an internship in a company, allowing students to take their first steps into the professional world, to really understand the specifics of the profession and even to get a job right away.
Sometimes people who have worked for a long time in a company in the technical sector may be retrained as translators. This is quite understandable, since these fully-fledged translators are experts in one or more specific fields.
The translations entrusted to Tradeo, which handles translations in the Arc Jurassien (Jura Arc) region and translations in Switzerland, also fall into the technical and scientific fields. Tradeo therefore knows how to surround itself with the best specialists in these fields in order to provide its clients with top quality work.