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Technical translation: Lack Of Personnel


Technical translation is known to be the most difficult kinds of written translation. Because a translator has to cope with a really hard task: to translate the technical text skilfully and correctly, and, in addition, not to lose the meaning or make sad mistakes which may lead not only to damage of the equipment but endanger health or even life of people.

For that reason, a technical translator should first of all be a perfect proficient, seek for continuous development and self-improvement and learn more about any technical innovations. And surely he or she must know the source and the target languages.

Here we have a natural question: where can we find such specialists? This is a very hard task. Let us explain why.

  • FirstNot all ‘technicians’ know foreign languages well enough to work as translators. And not all translators, even if they know the foreign language perfectly, are able to understand the newest technologies coming on our market or, as it often happens, the innovations which have not reached our consumer yet.
  • SecondlyIt is extremely difficult to find a competent technical translation specialist. The market is overloaded with so-called translators who qualify their specialty as ‘professional technical translation’, but practically they only imagine themselves to be technical translators naively thinking that knowing a foreign language and using a technical dictionary will help they cope with any technical translations easily. The main task of a technical translation company here is: to identify true specialists among a lot of incompetent translators, ‘to sift out’ the easy money hunters and to choose though one but a really worthwhile technical translator!
  • ThirdlyEven if such specialist is found, and he or she is a pro both in technical equipment and in translation, not every company can afford to pay for his/her work. Highly skilled workers are worth good money while quite often they do not get enough pay for their work. It is unlikely that a sought-after employee will agree to work for a small remuneration. And even if he or she agrees to do so, it will be a kind of a freelance work, perhaps in the evenings – after he or she finished the working day in the place of employment – or at the weekends. It is doubtful that a company will be happy with the slow pace of such employee or his/her refusing to take urgent translations.

As we see, the technical translators shortage is a severe issue for today, and the translation services market experiences a real ‘hunger’ for technical translators which can hardly be satisfied as soon as we want it.