Globalisation has led to the rapid growth in cross-border business and multicultural communication, creating huge opportunities for companies looking to reach wider audiences. But despite the many benefits of international expansion, businesses also face significant challenges, not least the need to navigate multiple languages.
These challenges are an issue for all sectors. But in this article we’ll look in particular at how translation services can support the engineering sector in their global operations.
What does translation involve?
International growth is not just about translating your existing brand and marketing materials to promote your business overseas, which we wrote about recently here.
If you want to build trust, loyalty, and develop a strong brand presence, it is crucial to communicate accurately and credibly in your target audience’s native language. This will also involve adapting cultural differences to ensure the information is accessible to everyone in the supply chain and complies with local and regional laws and business regulations.
This is especially true for highly regulated technical industries such as IT, manufacturing, and engineering, where accurate information about products and services needs to be provided to diverse international stakeholders.
In this post, we’ll focus on the critical role of technical translation in the engineering industry and highlight some of the documents involved. We’ll also consider what to look for when selecting a technical translator, with some cost-saving measures to ensure the translation process is effective.
Why invest in technical translation for engineering?
Technical translators and localisation services can support the engineering industry working in international markets. Importantly, translating technical documents, which also involves adapting to various cultural settings in the brand’s voice, provides real value to customers, boosts customer satisfaction, and the firm’s reputation.
And given recent industry predictions, it seems a huge, missed opportunity not to. One report published this month, January 2023, suggests the global engineering services market is set to increase from $1,110.21 billion in 2022 to $1,156.5 billion this year at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%.
What does engineering translation involve?
Engineering shapes the world we live in and makes a vital contribution to society and the global economy. The five core categories – civil, mechanical, chemical, electrical, and industrial – encompass a range of complex areas, including research, development, design, and manufacturing and this complexity translates (pun intended) into the translation service requirement.
Here are just some of the many documents requiring translation in the engineering sector:
- Product specifications
- User guides
- Installation and instruction manuals
- Operation and maintenance manuals
- Health and safety handbooks
- Patents, blueprints, and technical drawings
- Technical specification documents
- Scientific research papers and reports
- Contracts and agreements
- Training material
- Sales literature and marketing materials
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control documents
These documents play a crucial role in exchanging complex technical knowledge and product information with international partners and customers. They often follow strict formatting and layout protocols and are characterised by a formal writing style and tone. The language is clear and concise and loaded with industry-specific technical terminology.
Any deviation could result in serious errors or create confusion among international stakeholders. Further challenges arise from stringent industry regulations, which vary from country to country. Mistakes could lead to safety hazards or defective products, putting employees and customers at risk, and potentially resulting in legal, financial, and reputational loss.
There is no room for error or ambiguity, so our professional technical translators work closely with engineering businesses to understand a document’s purpose. They sometimes request supporting reference documents to ensure that the translation is accurate and reflects a company’s brand and style guides.
However, technical translation in engineering does allow a degree of flexibility when it comes to working with different writing systems, such as Thai or Arabic. This will generally require adapting the format and layout, plus any graphics, diagrams, and assembly instructions. Additional considerations include converting date formats, numbers, and symbols to comply with local and regional legal and industry regulations.
Cost-effective and time-saving steps
The engineering industry frequently works to extremely tight deadlines. So, experience is key when selecting a technical translation service that will be familiar with using translation technology to streamline the translation process. This could include the automation of repetitive tasks, standardised terminology for accuracy and consistency, plus robust quality control systems.
Bubbles has translated the most complex technical content for the world’s biggest brands since 2003. We understand the importance of accuracy and you can trust us to provide clear, concise, and consistent technical translations for your international success.
We know that even if a translator is a native speaker, a jargon-heavy document written by an engineer will likely be challenging to a non-expert. That’s why we work with our internal team of language experts who are also subject matter specialists to guarantee the highest standards of translation for our clients where linguistic nuance and technical terminology are crucial.
Bubbles is a professional full-service accredited translation agency helping our clients reach new markets overseas. Our network of 3,800 trusted translators are experienced linguistic experts and subject specialists, serving 1,300+ customers with translations into 280+ languages.
For fast and accurate technical translation, you can rely on, get in touch with our dedicated project managers today.