What is a Subject Matter Expert in Translation?

Subject matter experts are highly skilled individuals who not only speak, read and write in multiple languages but also have the proficiency, experience and knowledge needed in order to call themselves an expert on a specific subject. Language is complex and filled with ambiguities, so it is important to enlist the assistance of an expert on the subject when specific industry expertise is required to ensure that terms are correct and that the content meets regulation requirements. A subject matter expert will ensure accuracy of a translation that requires expertise for the highest level of translation quality and they are oftentimes called in after the initial translation has been completed as a final step in the process. When translating documents for medical facilities, medication distributors, engineering agencies, oil and gas companies along with many other specialized fields, you need to ensure that the information being translated is crystal clear in its conversion from the source language into the target language.

When Would You Need a Subject Matter Expert in Translation?

Perhaps you need to have a proposal as well as a blueprint taken from a CAD file  translated from English into German for an engineering company. The engineering company needs to present these translated documents to a lender in order to receive funding so they can start building the new shopping mall that was designed to sit in the middle of a popular Berlin shopping district. You enlist the aid of a friend that speaks German to complete the translation for you, little did you or your friend know, there is a ton of industry specific engineering jargon in the proposal that neither of you have never heard of in English let alone German and on top of that you are responsible for converting the imperial measurement that is used in America into the metric system that is used in Germany and your friend who speaks conversational German has never converted standard to metric measurements in her life. At this point you and your friend are pulling your hair out, this has turned into the most stressful and difficult translation you have encountered. This scenario poses as a potential issue for the engineering company and for your project because the information that was translated was completely out of your friend’s realm of knowledge. This in turn left plenty of room for error in their translation and that can not only make you look unprofessional but can also delay or completely ruin your project. Ideas may not have translated well according to industry standards and terminology used, meaning the concepts and visions in the proposal may not be conveyed well in the translation and wont project well in the proposal, putting the company at risk for not receiving the funding they need.

An individual that would have been better suited for the job of translating the engineering company’s proposal and blueprints would have been a subject matter expert, possibly a person who is not only a translator and is fluent in both the source and target languages needed but is also an engineer with a degree and experience in architecture. There are considerable amounts of occasions in which you would need to hire a subject matter expert when translating a technical document, so if you want to ensure a document is translated to the highest degree for your specialized project then you need to hire a subject matter expert to complete your translation. Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a language service provider that can ensure your documents are translated professionally and precisely by highly qualified translators and subject matter experts.

Reasons to Hire a Subject Matter Expert

If expertise is needed that goes above and beyond the needs of a typical translation, it is a must to appoint a subject matter expert who is familiar with the information and industry that is associated with the translation. There are many factors and reasons that come into play when needing to hire a subject matter expert, by doing so you can ensure that your document will be translated properly.

Industry Jargon and Terminology:

Every industry has it’s own jargon that is used amongst the people who work in the field, these industry specific words and expressions are needed in order to convey concepts and talk about techniques along with many other convenient everyday uses within the field. For example, if you are listening to a conversation between two people regarding meteorology and you know they are talking about ways in which a person forecasts the weather but other than knowing the subject of the conversation it sounds like a foreign language to you due to all of the jargon used. In addition to industry known terminology and jargon, there is also specific terminology that correlates with each and every field and unless you are associated or have experience working within that field you may not have ever heard or used these terms before. A translator who is not familiar with a word’s meaning in the source language, would have difficulty translating it properly into the target language, even with the aid of a dictionary. It is important not only to be able to grasp the meaning of the terminology and jargon but it is also important to ensure that they are used correctly in context and this is the reason why you would hire a subject matter expert when translating a highly technical or industry specific document.

Mistranslations Happen Due to a Lack of Subject Knowledge, Resulting in Damage:

Mistakes can and will happen in translation due to a lack of knowledge in the industry and the unawareness in the terminology and jargon used by the people who work within the field. In some instances, these mistakes can really cause damage especially in a medical or pharmaceutical setting in which it could threaten lives. Without fully knowing the subject matter and the source as well as target languages it is easy to confuse the ideas and intent in translating documents. Another example to think about is, what if directions for a piece of industrial machinery were translated poorly due to a lack of knowledge in the subject matter and accidents and injuries occurred as a result of improper use of the machinery. These are vital documents that were made to be understood because of their importance, ensure accuracy by hiring a subject matter expert to translate technical documents.

The Benefits of Hiring a Translator with Subject Matter Expertise

There are many benefits associated with hiring a subject matter expert for the translation of your technical documentation. A subject matter expert will provide not only technical accuracy but they can ensure that your translated documents will be well-received and compliant to industry regulations. Simply knowing the language is no longer sufficient for many translators who are working and wanting to move up the ladder in the modern and evolving field of translation, many of them are becoming distinguished experts in their professions, developing complex and specialized knowledge that in turn allows them to work as translators who are subject matter experts. Hiring a translator who knows the subject matter at the same level as the audience that will read the documents that are being translated will only guarantee that the message is conveyed in the original form that it was intended for.

Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled translators and interpreters are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified translators and interpreters as well as subject matter experts. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at www.nilservices.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment