The most important aspect of technical translations is knowing the traits of technical writing. The text must be accurate, variations of the same term as well as pronouns should be avoided, and the text itself is, most often, factual.
Distinctive qualities of every individual language, specificities of sentence structures, knowing when to leave certain terms untranslated and similar challenges the translators are faced with in their work, add to the level of difficulty of technical translations.
Based on above mentioned reasons, we can conclude that technical translations are very different from literary translations. With these texts, cultural characteristics of the target audience are less important, great literary writing techniques and styles are not used, and the most important request is to literally preserve the technical content of the text.
For example, imagine you are working on the translation of a bicycle assembly manual. For you, the translator, the most important task is that the user of your manual is able to follow the instructions and assemble the identical bicycle as the customer reading the manual in the language it was originally written.
The manual must be accurate and easy to understand and follow. Suitable vocabulary and adapted document text and format are some of the main qualities of a well translated manual.
Naturally, there are exceptions to this rule as well. If the technical document will not be primarily used as a manual but, say, as a legal document (patents or evidence in legal proceedings), the text has to be more formal.
Using correct technical terms and their consistency are a major factor when working on technical translations. The translator has to be familiar with the subject matter the text is related to because that is the only way to be sure the term is used properly.
Good translators with many years of experience in translating technical materials know that translating a text about astrophysics does not have to be as difficult as astrophysics itself. Do not allow yourself to get entangled in countless technical terms you found in a dictionary, choose translators – experts for that specific subject matter.