A technical translation is the process of translating technical information from one language into another language. It is a specialized type of translation focused on technological subject areas or texts dealing with the practical application of scientific and technological information. In terms of regulatory compliance, technical translation could be applied to chemical regulatory documents, marketing materials, employee handbooks, corporate documents and even websites. If you expect to have your product used in other countries, the official language of that country should be available on your documents.
The following are examples of items that qualify for technical translation: chemical regulatory documents, marketing materials, employee handbooks, corporate documents and websites. It is important to choose a company who will provide you with translated documents that maintain the quality and integrity of your original document.
When translating technical documents such as a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) note that straight translations may lead to a non-compliant document. MSDSs need to be authored to be compliant of the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is to be used, so often direct translations are infeasible. For example, you cannot simply take a U.S. compliant MSDS and translate it into Danish and have a document which is compliant in Denmark. Sometime, rather than translating your company's SDS or MSDS, it is prudent to take the existing document and author a new set of SDSs or MSDSs that is compliant in the necessary jurisdictions and in the necessary languages. It is also important to note that using a machine translation program is not an appropriate to translate documents of this nature. Errors in translating labels, instruction, or safety precautions could lead to regulatory, product or civil liability. In addition, an incorrect translation could be misinterpreted, leading to a possible misuse of the product and physical or property damage.
It is recommended manufacturers and suppliers use an outsourced regulatory compliance company to help them in the technical translation. Relying on an expert to complete the translation guarantees an accurate interpretation of the document in all languages. In addition, outsourcing your technical translation documentation can give your company increased efficiency in other regulatory areas, as well as saving time and money.