User Manual Translation Services

Open user manual on a desk

What is a User Manual Translation Service and Why Is It Important for Businesses

A technical manual translation service is a specialized type of translation that enables businesses to accurately and effectively use technical manuals in different languages.

It is very important and often required by law to offer buyers and users of your products the instructions for use in their local language.

It also ensures that your brand reputation is protected as customers can easily understand instructions, leading to less miscommunication and fewer customer complaints.

Are you in need of a user manual translation that is both accurate and written in the local language of your target market?

User manuals are an essential part of expanding businesses into international markets, but they can be challenging to translate.

Our technical user manual translation services will save you time and energy when creating multilingual versions of your user manuals and IFUs.

Read on to find out everything related to technical manual translation so you can move forward with ease!

Steps to Take When Preparing for a User Manual Translation Project

User guide manuals explain how to operate the tools and equipment. These are crucial instructions on how to use the equipment and avoid the risk of injury as well as get the best out of your tools. 

With professional translation services, you can create multilingual technical user manuals for your global audience.

Here are a few points that can help you with translating technical manuals.

Use technical translators who are the subject matter experts

When technical documentation needs translating into another language, using technical translators who are subject matter experts is the way to go.

No matter what field you’re in. From technology and engineering to health care and finance, there are translation professionals who know your industry.

When technical information needs to be conveyed quickly and accurately, you should feel confident that the professionals providing technical translations know their stuff. So tap into the expertise of technical document translation professionals and take comfort in knowing that the information being communicated will produce the intended results.

Translate the interface before starting the user manual translation

The correct translation workflow suggests translating the interface before starting a user manual translation.

This is important to ensure that all relevant information is translated accurately and is consistent. Translating the interface first allows translators to use the same terminology and words for their user manual translation.

Having accurate translations of the interface text and using those same words in your technical documents will ensure your customers can effectively use your product without misunderstandings and frustrations.

Ultimately, translating the interface before starting the user manual translation increases accuracy and clarity while improving user experience.

Consider file formatting to improve the translation process

Professional translation services agencies use CAT (Computer-Aided Translation) – at Global LTS we use MemoQ tools.

These are translation memory tools that help translators with the user manual translation process. Every project is added to translation memories which can be used on future projects to increase consistency and reduce costs.

But, you need to understand how your technical manuals will be processed in such translation tools. Essentially the entire manual is broken up into smaller segments which are then translated. Translation memories store these segments and link up the language pair.

However, if your technical manuals are not formatted correctly it will affect the translation workflow. We have covered the full details of InDesign files translation and these points also apply to have the best approach for user manual translations:

Export file formats that work with MemoQ (or other CAT tools).

Technical documentation can be created in many different authoring tools. Ideally, you want to avoid having to change the format between your technical manuals exports and the translation tools. MemoQ is a fantastic tool and can handle many file formats, check their website for the list of compatible file formats.

Avoid using hard returns to format line breaks

To have your technical manuals translated smoothly, it’s best to format the text using soft returns. The hard returns will create separate text segments for translators and will result in a slower delivery of the translation project.

Use a proper alignment approach

It’s best to opt for paragraph styles, numbered lists and bullet lists to ensure the text aligns properly.

Avoid embedding text in the graphics

Technical manuals often contain graphs, charts, tables and flow charts. To improve the speed of user manual translations don’t embed text in the graphics. It’s best to use layers for that. Every embedded text in a graphic will require additional Desktop Publishing time to extract the text and to typeset it back in the graphic after the translation.

Leave extra space for text expansion

Text usually expands during the translation process. If you want your translated manual to look identical to your source documents, the design needs to allow for the extra volume of text required after translation.

 

Benefits of working with Global LTS for user manual translation services

Our user guide manuals translation services are set up to help you with the localisation of your instructions for use, so your users have all the information they need in their native language.

Our full range of language translation services will help you with delivering your material in over 120 languages, so you can offer your user guides to audiences around the world in their native languages.

If you’re not sure which languages you need, it might be good to start with the ten most spoken languages in the world.

We’re adept at managing multilingual projects. Several of our clients regularly translate their materials into numerous languages for each project. For instance, one of our clients in medical device translation demands translation into 32 languages, including Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

How do we manage the consistency of terminology with user manual translation?

We have adopted the latest technology in translation memory software which stores all previously translated material. Our translators see all these resources during the user manual translation process and can choose to use the text from previous translation projects as long as it still fits the context.

This ensures that the same terminology is used throughout your manual translation and throughout all your copy. Even if documents are translated separately the translated texts use the same terminology.

Translated Instructions for Use will use the same words as your marketing or any other translated copy.

The translation of user manuals must maintain consistent terminology. These manuals are often updated throughout the lifetime of the product and translation consistency will ensure that users are not confused with different words being used to describe how to use the tools.

Even if your last translation was done years ago, we can still use it and maintain consistent terminology in all your required foreign language translations.

When translating manuals with CAT tools, your international customers won’t be confused by multiple terms used to refer to the same concept in the target language. This ensures a clearer comprehension of the translated material.

Consistency benefits with Global LTS user guide translation:

  • The same terminology is used throughout the entire document
  • The same terminology is used after updates and reviews
  • Translation terminology is maintained between documents
  • Terminology is maintained over the years
  • Glossaries are maintained in all translated text

How do we ensure the accuracy of terminology with translated user guide manuals?

Accurate translation of user guide manuals is paramount and we only ever use professional translators with a minimum of 5 years of experience.

We have access to thousands of translators specialising in technical translation for user manuals translation who will have experience in your particular industry.

These translators will work into their native languages, so they will have a full understanding of the translated material and will be creating translations that is flowing naturally in the target language.

The translated instructions for use within the user guides will be created with the understanding of the target audience’s cultural norms, language structures, local terminology and idiomatic expressions.

The translated instructions will be clear, precise and consistent with the source document. 

Translation of Information for Use in medical equipment

 

The European market is very important for medical equipment companies. However, even though the harmonized regulatory process and CE certification allow for trading with 32 countries, there are 24 official languages.

Therefore, the translation of Information for Use (IFU) should be considered carefully. The European States require the medical IFUs to be presented in the local languages, so you should have a trusted translation partner for your medical translation needs when you enter these markets.

Even if you focus only on the 5 biggest markets, you’ll need to create the multilingual IFUs for clients in German, Italian, French, Spanish, and English languages.

 

Examples of User Guide Manuals and IFU translation:

Dental IFU translation example

Client: Perfection Plus Ltd

Source Language: English

Target Languages: Dutch, French, German, Greek, Polish and Spanish

Specialisation: Medical translation for the dentistry industry

Perfection Plus Ltd have been manufacturing and distributing medical products for over 40 years. As they operate in over 50 countries, they require user manual translation services for their medical equipment Information for Use in multiple languages. This work needed experienced translators with medical knowledge specialising in dentistry equipment.  

 

Technical user manual translation example

Client: Gericke AG

Source Language: English

Target Languages: Polish

Specialisation: Technical translation of manuals for powder processing systems

Gericke AG required translating a set of user guide manuals and Instructions for Use into Polish. These technical manuals cover the use and maintenance of magnetic separators, electric vibrators, pneumatic actuators, and many other tools. This work needed experienced translators with technical knowledge specialising in translating technical manuals. We delivered translated manuals in their original format including the text for the technical drawings.  

Medical IFU translation example

Client: Stoddard Manufacturing Ltd

Source Language: English

Target Languages: German, Greek, Spanish, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Polish and Swedish

Specialisation: Medical translation for the dentistry industry

This manufacturer of medical equipment required technical translation of their Information for Use into multiple languages. As with any medical translation, this work needed experienced translators with medical knowledge specialising in dentistry equipment. 

Technical User Guide Manual Translation

Client: Sinclair International

Source Language: English

Target Languages: Japanese, Serbian, Spanish (Latin American)

Size of project: 60 pages; 7,500 words

This manufacturer of labelling machines had an operator manual that needed to be translated for workers in other territories who were operating the same model of machine.

This was a very detailed manual with many diagrams and images along with the text. Technical terms needed to be translated using the correct terminology so that it all made perfect sense to the reader.

We made sure that experienced manufacturing translators were appointed to work on the project. Each of them was able to fully understand all of the descriptions and terms in the original English manual and provided technical translation into their native language.

FAQs

It is the process of translating a user manual or instructions for use (IFU) of a product from its source language into other languages. The process requires experienced translators with technical knowledge specialising in translating technical manuals to ensure accuracy and readability in the target language. This type of translation is particularly important in medical, manufacturing where precise information needs to be conveyed accurately across multiple markets worldwide.

Yes. In many EU countries, it is a legal requirement to provide instructions in the local language. This is especially the case with medical equipment. Translating user manuals and IFUs also helps businesses reach new customers who don’t speak the source language, enabling them to understand how to use the product correctly and safely.

The benefits of user manual translation include: making products available to a much larger audience, providing customers with greater access to information regarding product use and safety, ensuring legal compliance in multiple countries, improving customer satisfaction and experience, increasing brand recognition in foreign markets, and boosting sales.

Provide translators with industry-specific terminology glossaries to provide consistently accurate translations. Provide as much context of the text as possible. Use a style guide and glossary before translation. Prepare file format and layout carefully so that images, illustrations, and tables are accurately aligned in multiple languages.

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