Professional translations for companies

01/07/2022

What technical translation does for the global standard of electrical engineering and electronics

High-quality translation of technical texts, documentation and communication in electrical engineering and electronics is crucial for the clear understanding and reliable operation of all applications in all languages involved, especially for German suppliers who act as pioneers and quality leaders among international competitors and operate in or expand to different countries’ markets. We explain what is important here.

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What characterises electrical engineering and electronics?

Electrical engineering and electronics form one of the most important German production and export sectors and are indispensable for economic success. In addition to mechanical engineering and plant construction, they represent the strongest industrial sector in Germany and are elementary factors for the modern world to operate.

In the age of globalisation, companies from the electrical engineering and electronics sector enter into international collaborations and are successful in a wide variety of markets thanks to targeted expansion strategies. In doing so, they are in competition with suppliers from emerging and third countries, who may produce more economically but not infrequently turn out a lower quality. Therefore, the role of communicating the quality and specifics of high-quality products that are “made in Germany” should not be underestimated.

As well as having a distinct competitive environment, the industry is also characterised by its high level of innovation and development pressure. This is because electrical engineering and electronics encompass a large number of fast-moving sub-sectors, which semi-regularly expands to include others and which sees continual innovation and revision of products. This once again intensifies the competition.

What does technical translation in electrical engineering and electronics require?

Electrical engineering is a comprehensive field that has evolved over time. It has many different sub-disciplines and a wide range of products and services. Accordingly, there is a multitude of texts for diverse target groups and applications. Technical translation for companies in the electrical engineering and electronics sector includes:

  • Technical documentation for electrical installations
  • User manuals
  • Installation circuit diagrams
  • Fire protection documentation
  • Documentation and circuit diagrams for systems
  • Building documentation
  • Test reports and protocols
  • Manuals and standard operating procedures
  • User and policy manuals
  • Labelling
  • Product specifications
  • Certificates, safety instructions and warranty documents
  • Legal texts, contracts and patents
  • Marketing materials, such as product descriptions, catalogues and brochures, specialist articles and website texts
  • User interfaces for devices or apps
  • Internal and external communication

What requirements does technical translation in electrical engineering and electronics fulfil?

In electrical engineering and electronics industry, which is demanding and requires responsibility, factually and technically correct multilingual communication and precise specialised translations are essential. The companies in this field are faced with conflicts between different national rules and EU or global standards.

The local market must follow the standards of the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE) in DIN and VDE (only available in German), the organisation responsible in Germany for the development of standards, norms and safety regulations in the above-mentioned fields.
The International Electrotechnical Vocabulary (IEV), also called Electropedia, from the Technical Committee (TC 1) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is essential for multilingual communication, documentation and translation in this context. It aims to standardise the terminology of electrical engineering and electronics and must of course be adhered to across all languages involved.

Basic knowledge of physics and, depending on the discipline, specialised electrical engineering knowledge from a specific sub-area, is an essential requirement for technical translation.

Another essential qualification for technical translation in electrical engineering and electronics is being able to use Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools confidently as a prerequisite for detailed and efficient translations as well consistently using structured specialised terminology. Conscientious terminology management is also fundamental in this context.

How specific is technical translation and communication to the target group in electrical engineering and electronics?

Especially in specialised translations in electrical engineering and electronics, irrespective of the languages involved, it is important to take the target group into account and to distinguish between specialist and non-specialist users.

The professional target group includes engineers with a degree, master electricians and technicians with further training, skilled workers with a degree and, to a certain extent, unskilled workers. In addition, there are people who work in related areas of the electrical engineering sector, such as commercial staff, sales staff, marketing staff or IT staff.

Non-specialist users of technical translations in electrical engineering and electronics are primarily the end customers. These are divided into professional clients from other fields and private individuals without professional expertise. It should be noted that although clients from outside the field may have a high level of expertise, this should not be taken for granted when translating.

How does oneword handle technical translation in electrical engineering and electronics?

Our language services for the electrical engineering and electronics industry cover the full range, from translation services in foreign language communications to holistic consulting for internal foreign language processes. We are aware of the challenges in the electrical engineering industry and provide support with the following translation services:

  • Native-speaker professional translators with experience and specialised knowledge in electrical engineering and electronics
  • Translation processes certified to DIN ISO 17100 and ISO 18587
  • Absolute adherence to deadlines and fast response times
  • Innovative processes and automated procedures for a consistently high translation quality while saving costs

As a language service provider that has been audited several times, we guarantee all the qualifications described for our professional translators and revisers. In the subject area of electrical engineering and electronics, they have a native-level command of the relevant source and target languages and also have sound technical and detailed knowledge.

Of course, they are also always familiar with the necessary terminology, which is an essential factor for high-quality specialised translations in electrical engineering. In this way, we ensure that uniform and internationally defined terminology and normative standards, for example for warning notices, are translated precisely and in a way that can be clearly understood.

Just how effectively and successfully we have implemented technical translation in electrical engineering and electronics can also be seen in the very recent example of the component and system manufacturer Phoenix Contact. You can download the case study here (only available in German).

Are you in the electrical engineering and electronics sector and do you require professional translation of technical texts, technical documentation and communication or help with creating and organising your terminology? Then talk to us in detail. Our technical translation experts will be happy to advise you on measures and options.

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