Usage Instruction Translation Services
Among the many different types of texts that are translated for the manufacturing sector, usage instructions are particularly prominent. This article will provide some insights into the basics, which will prove valuable to you if your business plans to translate owner’s manuals, digital user guides or any other usage instructions for your products.
The significance of quality translation services for usage instructions
There are various reasons why translations of usage instructions are important and why quality must always be the utmost priority. To begin with, accurate translations of usage instructions are required to ensure safe operation of devices. This does not only mean that they help prevent injuries among users, but also property damage (to the device itself or its surroundings).
This safety aspect is clearly one of the main reasons why in most jurisdictions manufacturing companies are legally required to supply translations of usage instructions into local languages. Providing complete and correct translations is therefore not only a moral, but also a legal imperative, and if, for example, personal damages occur because warning notes are translated incorrectly, consumers will be able to take legal action against producers.
Besides legal and safety issues, high-quality translations of usage instructions are also important to keep up the professional image of producers. All of us have seen low-quality translations of owner’s manuals or other usage instructions before and clearly, even if a product itself is perfectly fine, customers will not think highly of the producer if the instructions sound awkward or do not make sense.
Well-written translations of usage instructions can also significantly increase customer satisfaction. As most users do not want to spend much time on reading instructions, experienced linguists will keep translations clear and concise, thereby managing to draw attention to extra features that consumers might otherwise never know about, tell them in short what to do to increase the product lifespan, how performance can be boosted, etc. – all of which will ultimately improve the overall user experience.
As you can see, there are several different reasons why high-quality translations of usage instructions are so important. But besides the quality aspect of translation itself, what should a manufacturing business look for in a localisation agency when instructions have to be translated? The short answer would be that typically an extensive service portfolio is essential – please see some elaborations and illustrations below.
DTP for usage instructions
Many instructions come as complex, formatted texts or with illustrations, which makes the content easier to understand. If that is the case, desktop publishing (DTP) services will often be required (to learn more about DTP for document translation in general, please click here, or check out our article on DTP for engineering documents). Situations that require DTP include rearranging content in languages that are written from right to left, dealing with captions with space limitations (e.g. when translated content is longer than in the original), etc.
Multilingual usage instruction translations
Large manufacturing companies typically publish translations of usage instructions in more than one language. To streamline the translation process, they require localisation agencies with sufficient internal and external resources for such multilingual projects. While most agencies can serve requirements for a range of common languages (including English, French and Spanish), there are only few that also cover rare ones (such as Dutch, Khmer, Burmese or African languages, for example).
If instructions do not only come as printed documents (such as a typical owner’s manual), but also as explanatory video clips, for example, a quality localisation service agency with expertise in multimedia will be able to handle such complex translation requests. For devices with own apps & software, the translation process is even more complicated, but reliable localisation agencies have tools in place to organize and oversee the entire translation process so that terminology is used consistently, even if text content appears in a whole set of different media.
As briefly illustrated above, to guarantee high-quality standards in usage instruction translations, manufacturing businesses must choose a localisation agency with a broad service spectrum that manages any add-on services under one single roof. This approach does not only save time, costs and efforts, it is often even essential to ensure correctness and consistency.
elionetwork has more than two decades of experience in providing localisation services for the manufacturing sector and other industries. Our portfolio does not only include translations in over 55 languages, but also technical writing, DTP, multimedia engineering, etc. This makes us a true one-stop service provider, even for highly complex localisation projects. Contact us now to let us know your needs!