When you have an important document to write in English it is often difficult to decide whether to write it in your native tongue and use a translation company to translate it into impeccable professional English or write it directly in English with the help of a native qualified trainer to help you correct it. Here we are going to look at the pros and cons of both methods, concentrating on technical translation and technical English.

The pros and cons of writing your document in English directly.

You are going to need a native English speaker to ensure top quality writing.

English lessons with a native teacherWriting a document in English has some great advantages, mainly the fact that you are going to be exposed to technical English and your language skills will inevitably improve in the process. The wider the range of topics you attempt to tackle, the greater your versatility and knowledge of the English language will increase. However, if you are going to write in English from scratch, you will need a native English speaker to guide you along the way. The most logical step is to take English lessons with a native teacher who can help you compose your document professionally. And ideally it shouldn’t be just any native teacher, but a highly qualified trainer with extensive technical translation experience to ensure prime quality writing that will meet the highest standards.

Your English language coach provides a variety of services and benefits

Editing your text as you write it

An experienced teacher with translation experience will guide you as you write your technical document together as a team. Acting as an editor – as you are the one who writes the document, a good teacher will help you rearrange paragraphs and explain technical details more clearly while pointing out mistakes and thus teaching you the language in the process. To take on such a challenge, you should already have at the very least an upper-intermediate level of English if not not advanced as well as a solid command of the subject matter you are writing about.

Improve your English language skills during proofreading and correction

As you read through your final draft with your teacher, they act as a proofreader. A fresh set of eyes is handy to spot mistakes or anomalies in your results. He or she will point out areas of weakness in your vocabulary range, use of expressions and idioms, phrasal verbs, syntax and grammar skills. You can use these points as a basis to improve your professional English language skills in the long term. This means that consequent articles or documents you write will take less time and you will be less dependant on external support. A great way to consolidate everything you’ve learned after a given translation you’ve worked on with a trainer is to review and practice using the new vocabulary and the corrected mistakes that have come up during the redaction. This is a simple and effective way to integrate all of this new knowledge and make it your own. Chances are if you are only exposed to new elements once (such as a specific grammar point, a business idiom, a syntax error) and never use it again, you are most likely going to forget it. On the other hand, a simple revision and practice (writing a sentence of your own creation with the element) has been proven to greatly increase the integration rate.

Professional translation

English Language School Profile

Break into English is an example of an academy that offers professional English lessons via Skype. Their native teachers use a unique method to personalize lessons to cater to your specific needs. You can use online documents to correct all your mistakes live and in the moment; that means that after every class you will have a written trace that you can consult any time to engage in the valuable revision process we’ve described.

Professional translation  – the pros and cons

Be careful with offers that seem too good to be true… they usually are

The best way to secure a true representation and clear, professional translation of your work is to use a translation service with a proven track record that you can trust. While on one hand you may be tempted to use cheap services that a google search might throw up at you, buyer beware! If they are dirt cheap, there’s a logical reason why. Many companies use non-native speakers to quickly fumble a computer aided translation that more or less resembles the message that you want to put across. Trustworthy translation companies on the other hand use 100% bilingual staff who have a proven level of expert knowledge in your field. You get what you pay for…

Knowledge and experience in your technical area or field

You can relax in the knowledge that here at Tradupla we use a variety of experts in each area of translation. Our employees are not only accredited translators, but also have professional qualifications and/or work experience in their chosen field of expertise.

Translator profile example:

To give you an idea of the types of profiles we hire at Tradupla, we have chosen to introduce you to Katerina, one of our professional translators. Katerina is a computer engineer with a B.S in computer science from Alabama university. She received her master’s degree in Applied Telecommunications and Engineering Management from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Barcelona Tech. She specializes in Spanish translation services in the following technical areas:

  • Telecommunications and computer science
  • Smart cities, Internet of Things and Big data
  • Mobile applications
  • E-health and E-education

By exclusively hiring highly qualified professional translators such as Katerina, our clients can rest assured that our translations meet the highest standards.

Timescale

Compared to writing the document from scratch in a language that is not your mother tongue, using a professional translation service is definitely much quicker. Time constraints and urgent deadlines are often an important factor in the context of professional translations. Online content, manuals, reports and other documents need to be ready ASAP, the sooner the better. You need to keep in mind that very short deadlines and urgent work may incur extra charges, but that’s often well worth it and just part of doing business… time is money!

Standardisation of large technical translation work

Leaving the translation work to a professional organisation can take a great weight off your shoulders. However, bear in mind that for large documents you will need to count on a translation service with more than one translator and one final proof reader or chief translator. This is the person who guarantees that the language used in the document is standardised throughout. The last thing you want is for your readers to feel confused by different styles and uses of inappropriate or illogical synonyms.

Translator team profile:

Technical translationMarisol, Pilar and Elizabeth form one of Tradulpla’s teams of technical translators who work together on large projects. They take turns working as the chief translator: the quality controller, who ensures a high level of accuracy and standardization throughout the translated text. In this case they have come together to meet in a physical workspace, but we also make use of online technology for remote teams.

 

Comparing the benefits of translation to writing directly in English – Three things you should consider

How good are your writing skills?

The writing process of any document can be long and arduous. Having the support of a native English speaker who has experience in your field can be a great advantage. On the other hand, if your writing skills are good in your first language, it may be simpler to use a translation service. A well written document can be translated to a very high standard quickly and affordably.

Think about the service that you actually need

The services provided by English teachers and translators are completely different. If you are more interested in the end result – getting a top quality document in English that is ready to go, then translation is going to be that best option for you. If you like to improve your language skills, learning new vocabulary and grammar structures as you write your document than you will probably enjoy working with an English teacher.

What about the social aspects of writing?

A final thing to consider is that you work very closely with your English teacher when you write your technical document with them. On the other hand, this social aspect is not available when you use translation services in general.

Whatever you decide, it is important to make the decision based on your own personal circumstances. Make sure you use a service provider that you can trust and feel confident working with, and remember that although the service should be affordable, quality is also very important.

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