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How to Identify a Reliable Translation Partner for Technical Documentation

Nov 18, 2021

In today’s global economy, technical documentation touches nearly every industry, including manufacturing, software, healthcare, and education. The far reach of international brands requires this documentation to appear in multiple languages for multiple markets.

When translating technical documents, such as manuals or specifications, the core objective is to convert the words from one language into another accurately. Presenting this information in an easy-to-read and usable fashion in every target language is a daunting responsibility that relies on your language service provider (LSP). Your partnership with them is critical in communicating how a product works to consumers and local vendors.

Best practices require professional technical translation services with subject-matter expertise and language expertise, as well as experience in authoring tools such as MadCap Flare, Articulate, Adobe products, and more. Doing so can help guarantee that translations appropriately convey all intended meaning in the proper format.

To help ensure you find a professional language service provider that fits your needs, here are four crucial questions to ask when vetting potential partners for localizing your technical documentation.

What kind of user documents do they translate?

A professional LSP will be able to field multiple kinds of technical documentation. This is advantageous for companies looking for a partner to manage all of their documentation in order to reduce cost and project turnover.

At Morningside, we translate user guides, operating manuals, MSDS, engineering specifications, patents, intellectual property, eLearning modules and courses, websites, software and applications, and medical device labeling. We are able to work in many different software applications, so you can let us do the layout and formatting work to produce the finalized documents in each language.

What is their commitment to quality?

Is quality at the heart of your LSP’s operation? When quality becomes a primary focus for authoring projects, it ensures accuracy and smooth implementation from initial requests through on-time delivery. A competitive LSP will independently audit their quality systems and rigorously vet subject matter experts and translators.

Our commitment to quality spans every stage of the project lifecycle. Morningside employs ISO 9001, 13485 and 17001-compliant processes and a 3-tier linguistic review process. As an additional step, we use a proprietary algorithm designed to preemptively identify potential risks – preventing quality errors before they happen. Our Quality Reliability Indicator (QRI) is designed to help ensure a reliable and repeatable outcome.

How do they ensure accurate translations?

Starting with a detailed evaluation process, an LSP should assess your company’s authoring program, discovering which software you are using or how your English is written. During this evaluation, your LSPshould work on a Term Base and Style Guide for each target language.

To ensure seamless localization, Morningside begins the translation process with a full localization and LQA of your software, if software is included in your translation needs. Then, the accompanying documentation can be translated to ensure all final UI strings can be referenced accurately. From the beginning of every partnership, we are happy to advise our clients on how to optimize their authoring for translation, to mitigate current and future concerns in the localization process while reducing the time and costs.

Do their translators & technical writers possess subject matter expertise?

Quality localization starts with stringent translator qualifications, including subject matter expertise. Best practices recommend using an LSP with translator certification and accreditation to ensure a high level of professional experience. Ask if your language services partner can provide translators who specialize in your specific area of need. The more specialized the translator, the more likely you will receive the highest quality localized product.

Working exclusively with qualified subject matter experts (SME’s) is just part of our unwavering commitment to quality. Our quality policy requires rigorous vetting and training for our translators and interpreters. They must be fluent in the target language, have professional industry experience, and be experts in the related subject matter and terminology. Our professional translators and editors are accredited by leading translator associations including, but not limited to:

  • American Translators Association (ATA)
  • National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT)
  • Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI)
  • Société Française des Traducteurs (SFT)

At Morningside, we take pride in offering highly professional technical translation services to customers around the globe, and we’re here to assist you along the way. It’s never too early to prepare and plan for localization. How a document is written and formatted will directly impact the time and money it takes to translate it. To learn more about how to save time and money with localization services, contact us today.

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