Hiring Specialised Technical Translators for IT Projects
Information Technology (IT), like other specialised industries, requires at least one experienced subject matter expert (SME) to translate content accurately. In fact, oftentimes an entire team of technical SMEs may need to work together to translate materials through the entire product life cycle.
Why can’t I hire a general translator?
It is tempting to hire a translation generalist and assume they will have access to resources to find the technical words in the target language. Unfortunately, using industry glossaries and technical dictionaries will not be helpful for a general translator who is not well versed in the most up-to-date technology. They won’t understand what they are translating! Word-for-word translation without a thorough understanding of the context and the audience’s cultural perspective will likely result in mistranslations.
Why should I hire specialised technical translators for my IT projects?
- IT is a Rapidly Changing Industry: Technology is constantly changing and evolving. As the products and services are modified, the supporting materials for end users must also be updated constantly. Translating such revised content of new versions into multiple languages will help customers use more features.
- IT Markets are Expanding Globally: As global infrastructure improves, so does the availability of personal computers (PCs) and mobile devices. Technology use is growing rapidly worldwide. Consumers in developing countries often do not speak the most common languages. Not only do the applications themselves need to be translated, but the graphic user interface (GUI) also needs to be localised for appropriate use and understanding across cultures and dialects.
- IT is a Very Competitive Industry: The competitive environment is getting crowded for designers and developers of hardware, software, software as a service (SaaS), mobile devices and apps. Consumer choices for IT products, services and programmes that produce similar results are overwhelming. Creating a unique competitive advantage by offering your content, user manuals, training materials, go to market sales and marketing materials and even product packaging printed in multiple languages may entice customers to choose your product over a competitor’s product.
- IT is Risky Business: All industries require business risk mitigation when translating content. Ineffective communications can result not only in misunderstandings, but also unintentionally offensive content. Some information technology applications inherently involve additional risks. Failing to hire competent professional technical translators can result in mistranslations of highly important instructions and functionality capabilities. Entire business operations such as finance and data collection can be stalled or shut down by a mistake in a manual. Therefore, it is imperative to hire a highly competent technical translation team with professional indemnity insurance to work on your IT translation projects.
What types of IT content should I translate?
The designers, developers, marketers, installers and customer service teams all need specific technical content aimed at different audiences to be successful in their project phases. These materials should all be translated into the languages the reader best understands.
- Product development/Project management: With technical teams across the globe, translating schedules, milestones, deliverables and budgets will create efficiencies in product development and the launch.
- Marketing Materials: Websites, product sheets, advertisements, social media posts, point of purchase displays and packaging all need to be translated for the intended target markets.
- Technical Manuals: End users need to understand how to use what they just purchased, or a refund may be requested. Providing everything they need to successfully use their new product or service is required.
- Employee Training Manuals: Your customer service will only be as good as your installers’ and call centre agents’ knowledge. Make sure they are trained in their native languages.