Translating Complex Technical Texts Into Consistent And Reader-Friendly Copy

June 19, 2022

Translation management is one of the core services offered by Impala. We provide technical translations for user guides and assembly instructions, as well as ready-to-print marketing collaterals and packaging. We focus on European languages with particularly strong expertise in English (UK and US), French (France and Canada), German, Spanish (Spain and Mexico) and other European languages. Our global clients partner with us for three reasons:

  • We emphasise the importance of quality control and post translation reviews. Our in-house translation management team consists of native speakers of European languages who can ensure that translations into multiple languages are consistent in style and meaning.
  • We understand the importance of typography, formatting, design and typesetting. Providing assets that are optimised for space utilisation and ready to print reduces unnecessary printing costs and extra work for our clients.
  • To help turn work around fast some of our team members work in shifts. This allows us to maximise the communication overlap with our global network of expert translators.

Focus on technical expertise

When selecting translators to work with, we carefully evaluate the competencies. We work exclusively with writers who have a strong background in linguistics and technology applications. By doing so we can ensure that they are able to translate technical documents into accurate and compliant copy that is intuitively understood by users and also meets local regulatory guidelines.

Strong product experience helps bypass information bottlenecks

Our global clients work in highly integrated teams that recognise the importance of speed to market. As a result, product documentation that is ideally available to produce quality marketing copy and user manual translations are not always readily available. Having produced more than 100,000 technical translations spanning product categories including audio, video, household appliances, and domestic appliances we are often able to draw on experiences from past projects to supplement information.

Integrated service offering to drive efficiency

Many of our clients value our ability to provide holistic solutions. For example, technical translations can often be used across different areas of application: On websites, packaging or in user manuals. Considering how we can help our clients explore multiple usage opportunities for our deliverables is important, because it not only enhances end user satisfaction, but also helps improve our cost efficiency. One increasingly important area that demonstrates our efforts in this discipline are the diverse possibilities to apply our 3D solutions: High quality 3D images can be applied on websites and also in technical documents, such as user manuals. This provides a major improvement over traditional line drawings that can be hard to understand for novice users. A win-win for our clients and their users!

Our process in detail

At Impala we provide translation management services that go far beyond just ‘translating’ technical documents. Our process includes all the steps listed below:

  • Project Management
    We often work on projects that require translations into multiple languages. Whereas a translation into one language is often straightforward, translating a document into multiple languages where a high degree of consistency in tone and style is required is more challenging. Individual translators may not have a holistic view on their output as in the context of other translation variants. This is where rigorous project management and also Quality Assurance (QA) are critical.
  • Reference Preparation & Terminology Extraction
    Technical translations are not just about converting a text into another language. High quality technical translations require proper preparation. This includes understanding and highlighting terminologies and references from regulations or standards: If, for instance, a source document includes wording from an industry standard or legal regulations it is important to highlight this, so that the corresponding translation reflects the same wording in the target language. The same applies to product feature descriptions and category related jargon.
  • Translation
    As outlined above, we work with a fixed pool of qualified, technical translators to provide consistent and highly accurate translations.
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
    The QA process is about verifying all documents prior to delivery. At Impala we apply a stringent process that requires peer review as part of the post-translation quality assurance (on both single-language level and multilingual consistency assurance level). Besides the accuracy of a translation, other criteria that we screen for include: typographical nuances, readability for end users, terminology fit, typesetting and so on.