Technical translations provided by TRADO Translation Agency
Technical translations, like all specialized translations, cause particular problems for translators. The first, most obvious difficulty is knowing - or rather lacking the knowledge - of the industry that the text concerns. It is not enough to know the specialized terms, because you can always use a dictionary, but you also need at least a cursory knowledge about the functioning of larger or smaller machines the translator writes about. Such expert knowledge makes it possible to use a descriptive method in a situation where a term does not match perfectly in the given language and also allows to select the word that best suits the original for translation. Thanks to the knowledge of the industry covered by the translated text not only inaccuracies or mistakes can be avoided, but also the unintentional humor. Andrzej Voellnagel in his book "How not to translate technical texts" gives a funny example of how a translation of a technical text may look if it is done by a person who does not pay too much attention to what they write. In this way, the phrase "an exposed conductor ran along the train ..." was translated as "a bare ticket inspector ran along the train". Unless one of the words has been incorrectly translated, the author of this part of the specification had rather something different in mind.
Another rarely mentioned problem with which technical translators deal is the fact that documentation related to a technological process or device is translated in turn by several languages by many translators, not all of whom are equally able to cope with the task. Errors accumulate in subsequent phases, and typos and spelling errors increase the degree of difficulty of the final translation.
A nightmare for translators, even in translations directly from Polish into a foreign language, and vice versa, is linguistic incorrectness and imprecise expression of what the authors of source texts had in mind - with all respect for our Clients. Also, blanks and flowery style, which unfortunately can be found descriptions of products, do not make the work of a translator any easier. Then it's not only good to know the professional terminology, but also be ready for a flight of fancy and perhaps even madness, for how otherwise one is to render in a foreign language a description of decorative stone slabs, which in the client's opinion should: "highlight a specific fragment of space like a soloist playing the first fiddle in the arrangement. "