The goal of translation in any industry is to foster effective communication, collaboration, and growth among members and vendors. However, in the manufacturing industry, the pitfalls associated with wrong translations, can cause a warehouse of problems for all interested parties.

Translation errors can have a wide range of impacts on any given business, from innocently funny menu translation mistakes to life-threatening medical translation errors. Quite often improper marketing translations, for example, can cost a company millions and even prevent it from entering a lucrative market because of the wrong message they bring.

Similarly, inadequate manufacturing translations or low-quality translations may affect many phases of the business and bring a company to a standstill. It is important to identify the common pitfalls of manufacturing translations in order to successfully avoid them. To that end, you need to be aware of what type of translations you may need, what can go wrong in the translation process, and how to select the best language service provider for the job.

Types of manufacturing translations your company may need  

Depending on the type of its business, each company may need certain types of manufacturing translations. There is a great variety of services to include in the translation process but still, we can differentiate between several types that are most commonly used.

  • Technical translation 

In the manufacturing process, technical translation is one of the most popular types of translations used. This type of service covers technical, technological or scientific information that is usually produced by technical writers. The technical translation is provided by qualified translators with experience in the field of the given industry.  

  • Document translation 

This is perhaps one of the most common types of translations used in manufacturing. Document translation includes the translation of all types of documentation throughout the process and guarantees compliance with the requirements and legal obligations in different countries. With the help of translators who are subject matter experts in the field of your industry, you can get the translation quality that will boost your business.  

The importance of manufacturing translations 

The importance of manufacturing translations is quite significant as it determines the business path to the market of a given product. Any mistakes in the documentation can have negative results for manufacturers, including:

  • Poor quality of the final product because of inappropriate materials or methods used in its production as a result of mistranslation.
  • Failure to launch the product into a new market as a result of failure to comply with the local requirements due to improper translation.
  • Inability to obtain certification or patent in a given location because of bad document translation.
  • Loss of consumer interest due to inadequate accompanying documents of the new product.
  • Impossibility to manufacture the product at all as a result of mistakes in translation that lead to a wrong manufacturing process or misuse of certain machines or technologies.

There are many worst-case scenarios that can be presented as a result of inadequate, unprofessional or simply poor manufacturing translations. Hence, it is necessary to work with experienced and well-qualified translators who are aware of the nature of your specific industry. Thus, you can rest assured that the translation process will go smoothly and will facilitate your manufacturing efforts rather than diminish them.

What can go wrong with manufacturing translations  

When it comes to manufacturing translations, there are several pitfalls that can make you feel lost in translation. For the manufacturer, the ways in which something can go wrong include:

  • Inadequate translation and localization of the industry-specific terminology.
  • Wrongly translated manufacturing steps, processes, materials that can stop the overall manufacturing process.
  • Delay in the translation that causes the company to miss its deadline.
  • Failure to comply with the legal requirements of a given location/market.
  • Improperly trained employees as a result of bad translation of the corporate training materials.
  • Failure to use professional translation services which can cause both delays and significant loss of efforts, time, and money to fix the problem.
  • Relying only on machine translation. 

One of the best ways to avoid these pitfalls is to select a language service provider (LSP) that has the necessary tools, experience, and expertise to provide you with the proper manufacturing translations that your business needs. In this case, however, you also need to make sure that you do your part of the job.

In order to get a high-quality manufacturing translation, make sure to prove your LSP with: 

  • A full list of all industry-specific terms, corporate terminology, abbreviations and/or acronyms.
  • Guidelines about the style and tone of your brand.
  • Details about your target audience and markets.
  • Any reference materials that can be of help.
  • A translation memory if you have any.
  • Your full support and readiness to answer questions and inquiries.

It is a good idea to discuss all of your expectations including payment and deadlines in advance prior to starting the translation process. Thus, you will know what to expect and whether the service offered will meet your goals or you need to keep looking further.

Note that an experienced translator will be able to notice inappropriate terminology, ambiguity or lack of clarity in the source text and would rather clarify the issue first rather than simply render it into the target language. Such clarifications often may take time and add to the overall time for completing the translation process.

The best advice to follow in order to avoid pitfalls in manufacturing translations is to select your translation partner very carefully and to work with professionals who have experience in your field. This increases the chances of getting a high-quality service at a reasonable price and within an acceptable timeframe.

Here, at ICD Translation we are ready to help you with your manufacturing and other translation projects into any language that you need.  

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