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  How do you determine whether or not a document submitted for translation qualifies as a technical document?

When we review a document to determine whether or not it qualifies as a technical document for translation purposes, we consider the subject matter, the terminology used, the purpose of the document and its intended audience. defines technical documentation as “… documentation [that typically] contributes to the study of human or mechanical factors, procedures, and processes in the fields of medicine, science, logistics, research, development, test and evaluation, intelligence, investigations, and armament delivery.”

Technical documentation is industry jargon is often referred to as TECDOC.

Documents that typically qualify as technical would include: material used for instruction purposes (user instructions, operating instructions, servicing instructions); manuals (installation manuals, software manuals); scientific texts laden with subject-specific jargon (medicine, pharmacology, chemistry, statistics, the law, and engineering, to name some).

With respect to engineering documentation, defines it "...any type of documentation that describes handling, functionality and architecture of a technical product or a product under development or use. [Engineering-related] documentation may include: patents; specifications of item or of components/materials; data sheets of item or of components/materials; test methods; manufacturing standards; quality management system requirements; information specified in laws or regulations; verification and validation; etc. ... In contrast to a mere "cookbook" manual, technical documentation aims at providing enough information for a user to understand inner and outer dependencies of the product at hand."

However, not all ‘scientific’ documents (be they medical, legal, engineering-related, or otherwise) are technical. In medicine or pharmacology, instructions intended for a patient’s use of medication would typically be drafted in layman terms. Similarly, a commercial contract would usually not be technical whereas legislation would most likely qualify.

There really is no single definition that clearly captures the nature of what would qualify as a technical document for translation purposes.

It reminds us of the observation once made by a judge in a case relating to obscenity, wherein he stated [paraphrasing] “I can’t actually define pornography with any precision, but I know what it is when I see it.”

So go ahead and submit your document to us and we’ll let you know whether or not it qualifies as technical. When we’re unsure, we can oftentimes arrive at a determination by the feedback from our freelance translation resources; if our more capable translators refuse to tackle the material because of its level of difficulty, then it clearly qualifies as technical.

  Manuals, almost by definition, are technical in nature as they invariably supply instructions and technical specifications that apply to a particular subject, field, business or profession. Technical manuals are usually intended for distribution to foreign markets. Foreign countries imply changes to technical specifications (electrical standards, building codes, to name a few) not to mention the applicability of legal disclaimers, safety requirements, local usage customs, etc.
We can assist you with the localization of technical manuals and accompanying specifications.

Resume Translation  When you apply for work put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression with a résumé that has been translated by an expert who is fluent in your native language and is familiar with the technical language of the field you work in.

Don't settle for anything but the best and allow us to present you in the best possible light.

proofreading service  Our proofreading service consists of reviewing any text for errors – hard copy (written documentation) or electronic (e.g. websites, MSWord files, PowerPoint files).The types of errors we look for include: missing words; typos; spelling mistakes; formatting errors; missing or bad punctuation; etc.

The proofreading service is combined with light copy-editing: checking for grammar; improper language usage; run-on sentences; consistency issues; etc. Our objective is to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of your written material without changing the content.

Translation Performance Commitment  Our Quality Assurance Means Peace of Mind guarantee is the cornerstone of our commitment to deliver competitively priced services of the highest quality within agreed upon deadlines. Our work is not done until the work is approved by our clients and they are completely satisfied.

The most important words in our customer service language....

We assist clients from across North America and overseas. View descriptions of typical translation, proofreading and editing assignments: Sample translation projects.

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