Technical translation value in the engineering industry

Technical translation value in the engineering industry
02.01.2021 | Technical translation

This industry is distinguished by its complex and very specific terminology and slang. The language in this industry is very challenging for non-engineers to understand whether they are native speakers or not. Therefore, every engineering company that wants to translate its technical documentation should hire specialized engineering translators, not just general translators.

If you want to find a translation agency to translate your technical documents, make sure you find the most experienced and qualified company. The more a translator specializes in your field, the better for you. Say you have a civil engineering document, for example, where the terminology and slang used may differ from those used in mechanical engineering documentation. It should also be noted that most building inspections require contractors to submit their documents in the world's most common languages - Kazakh, English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, to name a few.


Engineering documents

In most cases, the information that requires professional translation in engineering documentation includes the following:


Functional specifications

This document outlines all of the functions of each component of this system. It helps the system user understand in advance the initial requirements and expectations on the output. Incorrect translation increases the risk of injury and cases of inefficiency geometrically.


Warning labels

The equipment manufacturers attach these labels to the equipment to warn the user of the possible risks and hazards associated with mishandling the equipment. You can also find these warnings in the equipment manual. Given that some heavy machinery used in mechanical engineering can cause fatal injuries to operators if handled incorrectly, make sure that nothing is lost in translation.

Suppose the warning label is in Chinese, Korean or Japanese. In that case, you need a native speaker interpreter with an impeccable command of English and an understanding of how the equipment works.


Design requirements

Each project has its unique design requirements, depending on the specific problem statement. It would be best to get a translation agency that considers the vision for your project, used systems, and the final product your project aims to achieve. This is the only way to meet the needs of users of your project.


Material safety data sheet

Material safety data sheets (MSDS) mainly cover users' safety and health working with the various materials and products in the project. Some of these materials may be chemical, making them dangerous if inhaled, swallowed, or coming into contact with the user's eyes. This emphasizes the importance of cataloging safety information for all substances and products in MSDSs.

Note that MSDSs are required throughout the EU. Chemical engineering companies in many EU countries must have MSDSs written in strict accordance with the European Chemicals Agency's language requirements. Suppose you run a chemical engineering company in Europe. In that case, you have to hire specialized engineering translators specializing in Western European languages and Eastern European languages (for example, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Czech, etc.).


When do engineering companies need technical translation?

Engineering companies purchase most of their foreign suppliers' components, which requires translation and complete documentation in local languages. Translations of instruction manuals require translators with specialized knowledge of engineering.

Second, to translate patents and other legal documents, you need qualified translators who are experts in the subject matter. Remember that patents in this field have strict practical requirements and technical details that only a technical translator can handle.

Finally, you need a technical translation to handle quality control documents. Municipal councils and other local building authorities worldwide do not like shortcuts, so you have to translate all your engineering documents according to local laws.


Why is technical translation important?

  • Risk of losing business

Technical translation services allow your project to meet local and international standards. Without this compliance, you risk two things. First, your potential clients may be reluctant to do business with you for fear that your company is incompetent and illegitimate. Secondly, you risk losing your license and even getting a fine from the quality regulators.

  • A demonstration of professionalism

Your business partners and employees will be safer working with you if you make a sincere effort to protect their interests, both in business and health. A good translation agency will provide accurate translation and a professional layout of all information so that everyone associated with your company will feel comfortable.

  • Expand your customer base

When you translate your material into several languages, such as Chinese, English, and Kazakh, it expands your potential client base. Suppose you produce a product catalog in languages such as Armenian, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic. In that case, you can enter markets that other engineering companies have not yet discovered. You need to expand your customer base if you intend to stay one step ahead.

  • The potential risks of misinterpretation are terrible.

As we mentioned, the risks of misinterpretation in the engineering sector include personal and user injuries, fatal accidents, and endless lawsuits and fines. You can't wait for any of these things to happen. On your end, it is wise to seek professional engineering translation services, translators with the experience and resources necessary to produce quality translations.

  • Obligatory for the registration of your company

The Occupational Safety and Health Organization demands all engineering companies to translate documents into all major employee languages. Otherwise, your company will not be registered in the USA. All engineering documents, manuals, brochures, and posters should be in English. If you have Spanish-speaking employees, the documents should be in Spanish.



We have seen that technical translations are important when an engineering company communicates information about a product, service, or equipment to employees and potential customers. And since this requires special skills, the only option is to find a reliable technical translation agency in the country where you work. Thanks to a professional translator, you are guaranteed a quality result of your documentation.

Finally, it should be noted that such services can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive than regular translations, so they are often more expensive. The main thing is that they are worth every penny spent. Do you need reliable translation services for the engineering industry? iText Translation Agency employs native-speaking translators, many of whom specialize in engineering and technical fields. We will match your documents to the most appropriate linguist and adapt the project to your budget and time constraints.


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Engineering is distinguished by its complex and very specific terminology and slang. The language in this industry is very challenging for non-engineers to understand whether they are native speakers or not. Therefore, every engineering company that wants to translate its technical documentation should hire specialized engineering translators, not just general translators.

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