Self-translation of written instructions from English: is it difficult?

October 20, 2021

Is it difficult to translate written instructions from English on your own? Of course, a professional for whom this is a daily activity will say that it can be done quickly

and in maximum accordance with the original. But a person who even has a good command of English at a colloquial level, reads foreign language literature and easily perceives films, will not undertake the translation of instructions if it will be used as an official document accompan

ying the product. The reason is in the specifics of technical texts. And it’s not only about the terms that can be found in special dictionaries, but also about the so-called pragmatic adaptation. The instruction should not only be accurate, but also understandable to the consumer.

Instructions: translation difficulties
The language of instruction is always unadapted, moreover, almost nothing can be understood from the context, therefore, the usual comprehension based on familiar words with the search for translations and interpretations of unknown lexicon units is not suitable here. It is no coincidence that the technical translation of the text (LINK) is entrusted precisely to specialists who understand a specific topic, having not only a large vocabulary, but also broad knowledge in the field with which the document is directly related.

When translating instructions, it is necessary to take into account both generally recognized translation correspondences and ready-made equivalents, as well as specific technical terms. Also important is the language design of the text in compliance with the stylistics inherent in different types of instructions, the correct use of abbreviations and abbreviations, the adaptation of units of measurement, attached tables and diagrams.

Thus, if, for example, you need to understand the nuances of a new vacuum cleaner, you can try to work on the instructions yourself, calling for help from online services. When it is a written translation, in which it is necessary to take into account all the nuances, ensuring the unity of form and content, it is better to turn to professionals who are ready to guarantee the quality of work. This will help save time and gain confidence in the correctness of the Russian-language instructions received.