User manual translation-Part 1

With the rapid development of science and technology, more and more products appear in such short time. At the same time, as the economy grows globally, the international communication becomes more frequently and many products are promoted and sold abroad. To let the products could be accepted by local as quickly as possible, the products’ introduction will be translated into the corresponding target language, to let it be localized.

User manual is the introduction of products, including the specifications, function, characteristic, trouble shooting. That is too say, it tell us what the product is, what function does the product has, how to use it safely, what should we do when it is broken and other specifications.

The characteristic of the user manual is professional, clear, simple and complete. For example:

Principal We should We should not
Using initiative tense, not passive tense 关掉电源

Turn off power


Be sure that the power has been disconnected

Be decisive. Do not use the non-decisive words 不要移动手环

Do not remove tabs


The tabs should not be removed

Using the action verbs, not the abstract verbs 使用,保持,避免

Use, keep, avoid


Utilization, maintenance, avoidance

Direct expression, not winded expression 拉回黑杆

Pull black lever towards you


Users will pull the black lever away from the machine.

Usually there are many fixed and professional phrases in product description and those words should be explicit and understandable without any non-clear meaning. Fixed phrased are those ones which are used in some industry and accepted in common use by people. Professional phrases refer to the one which are related to the industry and was only used in some special field. For example:

Fixed phrases Professional phrases
Specification 规格 Roaster 焙烧炉
Packaging 包装 Pickle line 酸洗线

In above examples, the two words “specification” and “packaging” are often seen in the cosmetic products. Nearly they are used commonly in the cosmetic products expressing the fixed meaning with the stability. And the other two words “roaster” and “pickle line” refer to the related professional terminology, belongs to the specified technology words in some field. And if they are used in other fields, the meaning will be changed accordingly.

Comparing to the industry products, consuming products has the characteristic is simple and commonly accepted by people. If the words are too professional to understand, consumers will not catch the meaning of the company would like to convey, thus it will influence the business. And those words should be expressed and conveyed in direct way. For example:


A cup of “Tingli” corn porridge can meet your need of calcium each day.


Words translated by CCJK


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