Translators work to change information from one language into written material in another language. Technical translators provide this service in a technical field such as medicine, industry, computers or other specialized sectors. Since accuracy is very important in technical writing and technical translation it requires an extreme attention to detail as well as an understanding of both of the languages as well as the subject matter. Technical translators that are not fluent in the language are likely to create flawed translations that are of no use to the consumer or the client.
A technical translator starts with a good understanding or basic level knowledge of the subject area. He or she may also research additional information or have access to information from a professional in the field. He or she then receives the information in one language and literally translates, word for word, into the requested language. Most languages do not, however, translate word for word, so the technical translator must use his or her knowledge of the subject matter to capture the information accurately in the new language.
Technical translators may work from home using the internet to receive and send projects. Some translators may also work in publishing companies, libraries or other government agencies. Most translators are fluent in using several word processing, publishing, and even graphic design programs if required. Excellent communication skills, time management skills an ability to work under pressure for deadlines is part of the requirements of a technical translator.
Common work activities include:
- Researching information on a given subject area and keeping up with the latest technologies and advancements in the area.
- Receiving original documentation in one language and reading through to ensure understanding.
- Translating the document into the required language ensuring accuracy and completeness of the translated document.
- Proofreading and editing the translated version, submitting it to the client by the deadline.
- Revising or editing the document as needed, changing formats or adding graphics if needed.
- Invoicing and collecting fees for translation services provided. Entering into contracts with companies on an ongoing basis or a contract-by-contract basis for translation services.