In September, I started my penultimate class before receiving my Certificate in Translation from NYU. This class is in technical translation taught by Blandine Anwar and it is both very interesting and very challenging.
So far, we have covered a variety of fields. Just to name a few we have translated documents relating to airplanes, patents, robotics, mechanics, the medical field and computers. Here is some of the vocabulary we’ve had to translate: “angle of attack”, “volatile memory”, “four-stroke combustion cycle”, “drug-coated heart stent”. Not exactly words that we use every-day.
Before starting the class, I honestly thought that I would just take the class, but not actually ever work as technical translator because it just seemed so intimidating. But after completing most of this course, I have changed my approach. Indeed, technical translations can be challenging and might require more work than say, a marketing translation, but they are not impossible.
Here are a few things I have noted so far. A good technical translator:
– has excellent research skills
– might have group of professional colleagues/experts who they can consult when needed
– always fully understands the concepts that are explained in the source text before attempting to translate
– writes only as clearly as the source text. If the source is unclear, the translation should be as well. A technical translator cannot take it upon him/herself to clarify the text in a technical translation and risk making a mistake.
I am enjoying this class more than I thought I would, and am very glad that this is another field that I can contemplate working in.