The primary goal of Japanese technical translation is to communicate specific, often complex, information with complete clarity and lack of errors and/or omissions in the Japanese language.
Following are some of the critical skills that translators must possess in order to execute successful, accurate Japanese technical translation:
- Complete understanding of the source technical material
Japanese technical translators must have a background in the field in which they are working; this can be demonstrated by possessing appropriate education, certification, and working experience in the field. For especially timely and complex topics of technical translation, Japanese technical translators may have to conduct independent research in order to understand the material fully.
- Proofreading and editing skills
It is important that the Japanese 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 Japanese technical translation.
- Japanese-specific technical knowledge
Japanese technical translators are responsible for adapting the technical material for the Japanese market. This can include altering number, currency, and date formats, adapting information for local regulations, adhering to Japanese industry standards, and ensuring the style is appropriate for the Japanese 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 Japanese 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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