Technical Documents refer to product design drawings, various technical standards, technical files, technical information, etc. that have an overrall objective of providing enough information for a user to understand inner and outer dependencies of the product at hand. For this define, technical documents are informative and rigorous. We handle a lot of technical documents during routine work and conclude that translation of this kind of materials needs more carefulness.
Firstly, be careful when choosing the suitable expressions in another language. Technical documents involve professional knowledge, so they contain plenty of specialized vocabulary within certain area. The professional knowledge and specialized vocabulary always make translators feel difficult. To turn the original or source text into a text in another language faithfully, the translator needs to carefully search a large number of relavant data to get the most appropriate expression. The problem may be that there are many materials for reference, some materials may be helpful and relavant while some may be disorderly and irrelavant or may mislead the translator. Therefore, the translater has to carefully read and analyse these reference materials, after that to carefully choose the most appropriate expression.
Secondly, be careful at the repeated words with a little difference. Many technical documents describe how to operate, repair or mainteance a technical product, such as operation manuals. The procedures outlined in the document sometimes are very similar but just have a bit difference. And the documents will be updated from time to time. The CAT tools are very useful when translating technical documents. Take Trados as example, it brings great convenience. But some translators depend so much on Trados that overlook details. They ignore fuzzy translation in the TM due to carelessness, which in turn causes more customer complaints. So when translating technical documents with Trados, pay more attention to fuzzy translation.
Thirdly, be careful at figures in the technical documents. As we all know technical documents contain a lot of figures, such as part number, order number, etc. If translators take the figures wrongly, the results may be bad. The operators may not find the parts required or may operate incorrectly. So be careful during translation. And the translators should check all figures after finishing the translation.
For the above reasons, you cannot be too careless when translating technical documents.