Case Study: Good User Manual Translation in Electronic Industry

Case Study: Good User Manual Translation in Electronic Industry

1. A general introduction of user manual for electronic products

Electronic products are used widely in our daily life. With the aim of introducing useful information about the electronic products, a standard user manual mainly includes preface, assembly units, functions, guide and notes etc. Among these parts, function and guide are the most important ones. For user manual translation, it should aim at making the clients have a good knowledge of the products’ information such as characteristics, function, usage, storage and so on. In order to transfer this kind of information, there are some requirements we must follow when translating.

2. Challenges

Though the demand of user manual translation is big, the translation quality of many user manuals is very poor. In fact, for these translations, the meaning is transferred correctly, but the translators ignore some basic requirement of manual translation, such as style guide, glossary and others.

3. CCJK’s Solution for user manual translation in electronic industry.

CCJK is very specialized translation company with more than 10 years’ experience in user manual translation. With the adequate experience, we strongly recommend the following to ensure the quality of user manual translation in electronic products.

3.1 Be accurate.

The user guide is used to guide the client to use the electronic products properly, so the information (such as graphic, statistics) it conveys must be professional, scientific and accurate. We must translate the source fully and carefully and avoid any possible ambiguity. For translation in electronic industry, there are many terminologies, fixed expressions and abbreviations which we have to pay more attention when translating. We must make the translation of these terms local, acceptable and understandable to the target readers. For example, there are some fixed terms for camera, such as “digital zoom”, “shutter curtain”; when we meet such words, we should do some research to see if there have been some standard expression for them. If so, we will adopt the standard one so that we can ensure the accuracy and not make the clients feel confused due to the inconsistency of terminology translation. Besides, you should never translate coin a term freely which is intelligible to nobody, for translation in electronic industry calls for accuracy and profession.

3.2  Be brief and concise.

The user guide translation for electronic products requires a lean style. It shows in the following two aspects. First, it is expressed in a neat way with clear steps and logic. For example, there is a corresponding picture to illustrate a certain component; there are serial numbers to indicate the sequence of operation; there are some graphics to list the sophisticated statistics. All these methods can make the manual looks clear at a glance. Second, the abbreviation is widely used in electronic products’ user manual. For example, Liquid Crystal Display is abbreviated as LCD; Auto Focus is abbreviated as AF; Center Processing Units is abbreviated as CPU. This usage also helps a lot in keeping brief.

3.3  Be objective.

User manual for electronic products is supposed to give the readers scientific and useful information about how to use the electronic products. It is a kind of elucidation text which is written without emotional coloring. It should logically guide the readers to use the electronic products in a right way. For example, “enter your password and press OK” can be simply and objectively translated into the target language without emotion involved.

The above is what we think is critical for a good manual translation. It’s also the remarkable characteristics for this kind of translation. Only when we pay enough attention to these points, can we make the user manual for electronic products perfect. As I have said before, CCJK is a professional localization company with adequate experience in handling electronic products’ manual translation. If you have any needs or any ideas to share with us, please do not hesitate to contact me (june.ge@ccjk.com).

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