Translation of manuals and instructions
The more complicated a product, the more important the instructions. These should be written in such a way that the customer can understand them - in the original and in the translation. It is not only important to translate all technical terms correctly, but also to deliver a consistent and clear text that is tailored to the target group.
Our translators will gladly take care of the professional and conscientious translation of your instructions, for example:
- Assembly instructions
- Installation instructions
- User manuals
- Operating instructions
When are translations of instructions needed?
Anyone who wants to sell a product must ensure that buyers can use it correctly and without risk. Within the EU, it is already a condition for CE marking that the user manual is available in the languages of the countries where the product is sold. This is also required by market surveillance of the individual countries. Outside the EU, this is also largely required. Furthermore, it is extremely useful: only a user who knows how to handle and use the product correctly will appreciate its function. And only a functioning product is good advertisement for its manufacturer.
Machine translation versus specialist translation for instructions
There are a number of translation programs that work more or less well - but none of them work well enough. False terminology and false contexts frustrate users and, in the worst case, even put them in danger. Translations by unqualified laypersons are only slightly better: they may have a good command of the language, but not of the specialist vocabulary or the required technical knowledge. Whether in the technical or medical area or in any other field, it is important that the translators themselves have a basic understanding of the subject matter to be able to use the specialist terms correctly and describe processes precisely. It may also be necessary to take foreign standards into account or to convert common units of measurement. Only with a translation by a professionally qualified person can you ensure that you have done your best to prevent application errors. This is also important for liability. An unprofessional translation also damages your image.
Importance of translating instructions for product liability
Manufacturers are obliged to warn the users of their products of side-effects and obvious application errors. This also applies, of course, to the translation of the instructions, which must reflect this clearly. In Sec. 434 "Material Defects" of the German Civil Code, it is even explicitly stipulated that a product is considered defective if the assembly instructions are inadequate or faulty - known as the "IKEA clause". The following also applies to the sale of machinery: according to the EU Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), the original version of the operating instructions must be marked and always enclosed, even if the language is not spoken in the target country. This allows users to refer to the original version if anything is unclear. Only if translations are done by professionally qualified persons, can the result also meet the legal requirements for instructions. However, certification is normally not necessary.
The right text for the right target group
Not only the correct translation of all specialist terms is important, but also awareness of the target group. If you have a product for end consumers (B2C), good translators will make sure that the instructions can easily be understood by using clear language. Specialist terms may be used, but it cannot be assumed that everyone knows them, and they must be explained. The translators also take into account that consumers in the target country of a product may not be as familiar with it as in the country of production, whether due to cultural or climatic differences. Handbooks for specialist personnel (B2B), such as for a production plant, require a broad specialist vocabulary and deep understanding of the contexts, which can also be conveyed through language. In both cases, consistency of terminology is important. In the case of instructions that are supplemented by pictures, it is ensured that the designations in the pictures and the text correspond, and that these two parts complement each other.
We are also happy to create company-specific glossaries and translation memories for our clients. To work quickly and correctly, our translators use computer-aided technology and maintain and update product-specific databases of specialist terms.
How we ensure the quality of the translation
We ensure quality using the dual control system. Every translation delivered is thus the result of a two-stage process involving multiple proofreading stages, during which the correctness of the specialist terms, content, language and style is checked. You can therefore look forward to the launch of your product in domestic and foreign markets with confidence.