Translation of technical manuals

Accurately translated and localised instruction materials could be the key to a company’s success with its clientele, ensuring the user of a product or service becomes a loyal customer of the manufacturing company. Whether it be the user instructions for a new smartphone model, a troubleshooting manual for a complex machine or the user guide to a new piece of software, a technical text perfectly translated into the user’s native language will enable them to use their device correctly and get the absolute maximum out of it. For companies the translation of manuals containing correctly formulated declarations of conformity, warnings and safety precautions is also a way of limiting their responsibility in the event of claims deriving from improper use. Whether it is printed, online or viewable on-screen, a manual is a tool which, by answering the questions of users, helps customer services staff to save time, and by improving the user experience and the reviews shared on the social media, it can also indirectly contribute to increases in sales. In some countries, translations of technical manuals are also required by regulatory authorities to permit the sale of products in their jurisdiction. Translating a technical manual is a delicate process that often also includes the adaptation of graphical elements like diagrams, images, technical designs and infographics. For this reason Landoor only entrusts this task to mother tongue translators with in-depth knowledge of the relevant product sector and complete fluency with all related terminology. It supports its translators with revisers and sector experts and, subsequently, with a Desktop Publishing team for localisation (for example, in languages like XML, HTML, SGML) and/or layout work, both in the MacOS and Windows environments, with DTP applications like Adobe Indesign, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe PageMaker and QuarkXpress, depending on the original format of the client’s files. To guarantee that the original formats are maintained the following procedure is adopted:

  • Importing of texts with relative formatting tags in an advanced CAT tool, a user-friendly interface in which the mother tongue professional carries out the translation working exclusively on the texts and leaving the tags untouched;
  • Use of dedicated sector and client termbases and translation memories to guarantee terminological uniformity;
  • Use of QC (quality control) systems to automatically check spelling, the completeness of the texts or formats, and terminological consistency.
  • Re-exporting of the translation in the source files with the formatting tags unaltered;
  • Checking and fine-tuning by the Desktop Publishing department to ensure the final file is identical to the original.

Technical manual translation costs and times

Translating a technical manual costs less than it used to because thanks to the most advanced CAT tools translators can count on aids like translation memories, glossaries and terminology databases – which are often provided by the company itself. All of this with the aim of reusing, either in full or with slight modifications, translations that have been used in the past for identical texts and at the same time guaranteeing the precision and consistency of the terminology and word choices used by each individual manufacturer. The use of CAT tools guarantees the client numerous benefits:

  • Automatic counting of new words/phrases and words/phrases that have been modified compared with the translation memories in order to provide the client with the most economical offer;
  • Significantly reduced turnaround times thanks to the automatic reintroduction of the translated texts in the original file, already formatted, on which the client will no longer need to intervene;
  • Terminological and phraseological uniformity of all designs and the utmost quality of the localised versions.

For documents that are not destined for publication or distribution to the public and for which it is necessary to significantly reduce the costs and turnaround times, on the specific request of the client it is possible to use a machine translation (MT). This engine is specifically developed on the basis of the client’s terminology and product sector and generates a rough but suitable translation for general comprehension, internal use in a company or as a reference material for the subsequent drafting of other documentation. The adoption of these systems also guarantees rapid delivery times that enable the client to notably reduce their time-to-market and increase their competitiveness. Investments in manuals are more profitable when translations are carried out simultaneously in multiple languages, taking advantage of the synergies of parallel work teams to optimise resources and times. Types of manuals translated by Landoor:

  • Launch manuals;
  • Installation manuals;
  • Instruction manuals.
  • Maintenance manuals;
  • Commissioning manuals;
  • Workshop manuals;
  • Company policy manuals;
  • Repair manuals;
  • Safety manuals;
  • Project supply manuals;
  • Quality manuals;
  • Operating manuals.

In addition, Landoor provides translation services for a wide range of technical texts accompanying products:

  • Catalogues;
  • CAD;
  • Technical drawings;
  • Risk analysis documents;
  • Lists of spare parts;
  • FAQ;
  • Technical dossiers;
  • Online guides;
  • 2D and 3D modelling;
  • Interactive troubleshooting procedures;
  • Product sheets;
  • Safety sheets;
  • Tutorials.

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