Security translation needs subject matter expertise

We work with many companies across the security industry. Nearly every one we’ve talked to has one thing in common: they have been burned before by security translation done poorly. Why is this?

Problem: Lack of Expertise

Often, poor translations stem from a lack of subject matter expertise. With highly technical content and safety specs, a linguist who’s not familiar with the material can get lost in the numbers and details. If you’re working in access control, for example, your documents are likely to include programming-heavy language, new terms that the industry invents, or references to other technologies that didn’t exist until recently. If your linguist isn’t familiar with the industry, that can lead to crucial ideas getting lost in translation.


Pick a translation partner with experts in your subject matter. They’ll have technology that can make the translation process more streamlined—for example, by putting industry-specific terms into translation memory. And while it might take a little bit of extra time to find a translation partner that’s the right fit for your industry, doing so will save you time and money in the end.

Problem: Lack of a good process

A process full of manual steps opens up your project to chances for human error. A secure system is one that doesn’t have gaps and loopholes in it—and a good translation process is similar. If a translation process requires a lot of manual file transfers or doesn’t use automation to give the text a “first pass”, your translators could spend a lot of time needlessly emailing files back and forth or repeating work they’ve already done before. And at every step, redundant processes can lead to errors.


By engaging with a translation partner that automates and customizes the translation process to meet your specific needs, you will cut down on time, errors, and cost. Automating the tasks that prepare or transfer a project allows your translator to focus on what’s really important about a text: crafting the right meaning for your audience.

Problem: Switching to a new translation partner is a hassle. How would I even start?


Know what your company needs, and search for a partner with expertise in your field.

Before beginning the process, it’s helpful to know two things: what isn’t working with your current partner, and what you’d like in a new partner. And keep in mind that the shift doesn’t have to be abrupt, either. You can ask your potential new partner to work on a small project while you remain with your current partner.

You can find out here how Translators International can help you craft a reliable, efficient security translation process, or contact us with any questions.

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