A closer look at technical translation

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A closer look at technical translation

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It is thanks to technical translators that the manuals for many items of day-to-day equipment are available in various languages. But what does “technical translation” actually mean? Let’s take a closer look at the meaning behind the jargon.


What is technical translation and how does it relate to your company?


Technical translation requirements can arise in a host of different sectors. Some of the more obvious examples are engineering, food processing, the environment, telecommunications and public works and construction.

If you want to export one of your products outside your domestic market, various documents relating to the product need to be provided in the language of your target market.



Here is a non-exhaustive list of the some of the documents that may need to be translated by a technical translator:

  • Servicing and maintenance manual
  • Assembly instructions
  • Instructions for use / User manual
  • Software programs
  • Catalogues
  • Patents
  • Standards
  • Product data sheets
  • Safety instructions
  • Diagrams
  • Requirement specifications




As well as excellent linguistic skills, technical translation calls for in-depth knowledge of the field in question. These documents are often intended for specialists in very specific sectors, and the terminology used is often complex. The translator must therefore have knowledge of the field, not only so as to understand the text in the foreign language, but also so as to convey the message in their mother tongue using the appropriate technical vocabulary. In addition to language and translation qualifications, technical training in engineering, IT or other technical fields is a real asset for technical translators.



Tradoc is a Lyon-based translation and interpreting agency that has specialised in technical translation for 30 years. The pace of change in technical fields is often greater than in other specialist sectors, as is evident in electronics and aerospace engineering, for instance. All of our translators keep up-to-date with advances and terminological changes in their areas of expertise. We also use translation memories and termbases so as to ensure that the correct terminology is used consistency across all of your translated documentation. We would be happy translate a short test text, free of charge.



We can work with a range of document formats. Contact us for a free and customised quotation: click here or send an email to contact@tradoc.fr.