Technical writers make up a good proportion of our translation clients and for those who are seeking technical documentation translation for the first time, we have prepared some helpful hints and tips.
The first and perhaps most useful tip we can give is that translators charge per thousand words, so it goes without saying that technical documentation for translation should ideally have as few words as possible. There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved, but the best method is to use diagrams and images effectively throughout the document.
The next tip we can give is to try wherever possible to be consistent throughout your document. Of course you probably do this as a matter of course, but equally you might be producing your documentation as a team, or updating an existing document with new content. The reason why this is important for technical documentation translation is that professional translators will take account of repeated text and won’t charge you the same rate for repeated terminology as they will for new content. On a large document such as a technical manual this can make a huge difference to the amount you might have to pay for translation. Especially when you are having the document translated into more than one language.
Planning ahead is our next big tip for technical writers. Technical documentation translation takes time, and building that time into your project plan can make the difference between a successful project delivered on time and on budget, and a project that either misses a vital deadline or costs more to complete in too short a timeframe meaning you end up paying rush fees for everything from translation to print and delivery overseas. If you’d like advice on the likely timeframe for technical documentation translation, talk to one of our project managers who will be glad to help you with planning your project at no charge.