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translation of manuals

Written by Kenia Arredondo

Kenia is a language-obsessed professional translator who is always searching for music from around the world and random, useless, but interesting fun facts.

May 21, 2021

The Importance of Translating Manuals

From creative translation to legal translation, all types of translation have their own characteristics and specific challenges. Translators in each area of expertise must be familiarized with the subject matter in order to deliver a high-quality translation to the client. On this occasion, I will share all you need to know about the translation of manuals. In the end, you will realize that translating manuals can be quite a challenge, but also that translating them represents profits for your company.


The Translation of Manuals

The translation of manuals falls into the category of technical translation, therefore, translators work with specialized terminology of the subject matter in question.

There is an immense diversity of manuals, from the ones about daily-life products such as telephony or electronics to more technical manuals such as industrial machinery user’s manuals. Despite the diversity of the types of manuals, they all affect directly the user’s direct experience.


Why Is The Translation of Manuals Necessary?

Manuals must be clear and accurate regardless of the intended user. If the manual is addressed to the end consumer, this one must know how to use the product; on the other hand, if it is addressed to a technician who must operate a machine or a crane to work, the accuracy of the manual can make the difference of well-installed equipment or keep the user safe.

The same applies to the translation of manuals, their coherence and accuracy help the user get the most out of the product.


Benefits of Translating Manuals

If it is a commercial product, the translation of the manual will reach more customers who will need to read the instructions to use a certain product correctly. If the translation has a good quality, the consumer experience will be better. If consumers are satisfied with the product, this translates into more sales for the company. I would like to invite you to read more about another of our articles about the importance of quality in translations.

On the other hand, a professional translation of a highly complex technical manual directly affects the assembly or repair of a machine, just to mention one example. Therefore, if the machine is correctly assembled according to the instructions, the user safety is not compromised.


Consequences of Translation Errors in Manuals

Translating manuals isn’t enough, but the benefits mentioned in the previous section will surely only be achieved if you hire a translator or translation agency with the experience to translate your manual professionally; because manuals have specialized terminology in different industries that can be difficult for a translator who isn’t an expert in the area. The importance of terminology in specialized translation is a key element for this type of translation.

When the translation does not meet the user’s needs, there can be consequences, from the minimum errors to the most dangerous ones. This is when the famous saying “what’s cheap turns out to be expensive” comes into play. Here are some of the consequences that can be terrible for your company:

  • Damage to the image of the product and/or the company

The product doesn’t meet the user’s expectations as the manual was incomprehensible and the product was used incorrectly. Also, if customers don’t approve the product or due to poor translation, the company will be affected.

  • Financial loss

Misunderstanding the manuals for using a product or the consequences of a bad translation can cause the company to lose a lot of money. This thing could have been avoided if a good translation agency or a professional translator has been hired.

  • Avoid lawsuits

How many times have you read about ridiculous lawsuits by consumers against big companies? If your manual is well translated, you will have one less thing to worry about.

  • Users’ accidents

In cases where the user needs to build, assemble, or fix industrial machinery or any other product on which other users depend, it is essential that the manuals be translated clearly and accurately. Otherwise, the incorrect use of the machinery may cause serious accidents.

This information gives an idea of the importance of professional translation services related to technical manuals, since not only they offer financial advantages for your company, but also can avoid problems. That is why you should make sure to choose a good translator or translation agency capable of offering the services you need.

In Traduality Language Solutions, we offer translation services for specialized documents. Do not hesitate to contact us when you need help with a project!

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