© 2009-2010 Ugur Akinci
Have you ever considered to become a “technical translator”? That is, a technical communicator who translates technical documents and manuals from one language to another?
If you can read and write well in more languages than one you should really consider this niche since technical communication has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Not only technical systems developed in the West now are sold all over the developing world, but the reverse is also a fact: systems, services and products developed in countries like China, Russia, and India are exported to and used in the West.
In both cases there is a need for technical documentation in the local languages since consumers always prefer documentation in their own native tongues.
That’s why in the days and years ahead technical translation will come to its own as a new and exciting technical communication niche.
If you also have editing skills you can quickly become an indispensable part of the “localization team” and save the international subsidiary of your company from embarrassing documentation mistakes that happen due to literal translations. Examples:
Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan “finger-lickin’ good” was translated as “eat your fingers off” into Chinese…
A hotel elevator in Paris had a sign that read: “Please leave your values at the front desk”…
In Italy, a “Schweppes Tonic Water” campaign used the mistranslated brand name “Schweppes Toilet Water”… ouch!
Make sure you add translation to your list of services if you have the linguistic skills to deliver.