technical drawing

Technical translation for product localisation

Translation comes in many forms and shapes, and our lives at Global LTS are never boring as every project is different and unique. Today we’d like to touch on product localisation which is essentially a process of amending and tweaking of the product to make it work in foreign markets.

Huge part of the localisation of any product is translation, and recently we’ve been involved in a project where user manual and the user interface was being translated into four Eastern European languages. The product itself was a complex measuring equipment, so we had to use technical translation specialists in order to product high quality localised text. These technical translators were handpicked for this project based on their experience with similar documents and on their extensive industry knowledge.

Product localisation projects differ in scope depending on the product and on how much the brand wants to integrate it into the local market. On the above mentioned project the scope was seemingly straight forward. The text for translation was in form of text strings containing few words each and many abbreviations. Seems easy, right?

Well, here are the obstacles we had to overcome with this technical translation:

  • Text was provided within Unicode; therefore, working with the code strings is challenging and prone to error (as it’s quite easy to miss some of the text for translation within all the code).
  • Strings of text with only few words in are very difficult to translate as there’s no clear context. The difficulty is increased if the text is part of product interface commands and messages.
  • Technical terminology with industry specific jargon full of abbreviations.

We’ve been able to overcome these obstacles as we have lots of experience with technical translation projects, and we work very closely with our clients.

Here’s how we’ve approached these issues:

  • Our specialist studio extracted the text for translation from the Unicode. This meant that translators were tasked with what they do best: tranlsaiton. And once they were done, the studio has uploaded the translated text into the Unicode again.
  • We have worked with the client to obtain previously translated text from their distributors. These were product specific text which provided translators with references for some of the terms. We’ve also obtained a full user guide manual from the client which further helped with the context for this technical translation work.
  • Using translators with appropriate experience and industry knowledge is the key to successful projects. Thanks to our pool of over 3,000 translators, we’ve been able to pick the most suited translators for the job.

When we delivered the files to the client we had couple of tense days of waiting while they were uploading the new text to their equipment. Working with coded text even one character placed in a wrong place can make life difficult. To our relief, all four languages have worked perfectly and without any issues at all.

Do get in touch if you’re working on projects which could benefit from technical translation, certified translation or multilingual typesetting and we’ll be delighted to share our knowledge and expertise.

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