The primary goal of German technical translation is to communicate specific, often complex, information with complete clarity and lack of errors and/or omissions in the German language.
The following are some of the critical skills that translators must possess in order to execute successful and accurate German technical translations:
- Complete understanding of the source technical material
German technical translators must have a background in the field in which they are working; this can be demonstrated by possessing the appropriate education, certification, and work experience in a field. For especially timely and complex topics of technical translation, German technical translators may have to conduct independent research in order to understand the material fully.
- Proofreading and editing skills
It is important that the German technical translator has the ability to check the original text for inconsistencies, errors, or other issues. While proofreading the source content is not always part of the formal translation process, technical translators should recognize when there are problems with the source material; their subject-specific knowledge thereby serves as a quality control step before and during the German technical translation process.
- German-specific technical knowledge
German technical translators are responsible for adapting technical material for German-speaking markets. This can include altering number, currency, and date formats, adapting information for local regulations, adhering to industry standards in German-speaking countries, and ensuring the style is appropriate for a German audience.
- Terminology management skills
Utilizing translation memory tools such as Trados is one element in ensuring consistent and accurate use of terminology. However, before they are stored, the German translator must first determine what terms will be used; this can be a challenge when there are multiple acceptable technical translations for a term, or if a word has been newly introduced in an industry. The best translators will share information about terms in question with their project manager or the client.
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