Dictionary Translation Syndrome

Wonderful point from João Roque Dias, CT in his article «Translating Technical Manuals»:

Who translates technical manuals?

You’re right! Professional technical translators with a deep knowledge of the subject matter, impeccable writing skills and an excellent command of the “manual style.” Again, at least, that’s who should translate them. In the real world, however:

  • Some translators have no idea of what they’re translating…
  • Basic technical concepts (that should show in the translated text) are simply left out
  • “Style” is reduced to a simple “word by word translation” (the dictionary translation syndrome) (end of quote)
Be aware of this highly malignant syndrome!
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