At Language Scientific, we insist on this core principle: If You Don't Understand It, You Cannot Translate It!
All Language Scientific translators hold advanced science, medicine or engineering degrees, e.g., MD, MPH or PhD, and have professional work experience—not just translation experience—in their subject areas.
Our approach to translator selection is not widely shared in the translation industry, even among the more reputable translation agencies. After all, the vast majority of professional translators are educated in the humanities and the languages, few have had any training in the sciences, and translators with medical or engineering degrees are, naturally, more expensive.
Moreover, most clients assume that translation is just a matter of substituting words in one language with those of another. Since the clients typically cannot themselves verify the validity of translation, they are not always able to judge the quality of the work they paid for.
We insist that technical information must be translated by professionals with subject-specific technical backgrounds. Adherence to this principle makes our job harder since it restricts us to a narrow circle of qualified translation professionals and increases our costs, but it is what makes the quality of our work stand out and keeps our clients coming back time and time again.
Having the right technical background and solid knowledge of the languages is not sufficient to meet our standards. Our technical translators also must be good writers. Indeed, translation is the art of taking a thought from one language and expressing it clearly, precisely and idiomatically in writing in another language. A well-translated text reads as if it were written in the target language in the first place.
Great writing skills are rare, especially among doctors and scientists. Manuals and software documentation are notorious for poor writing. Some of our clients have noted that documents translated by Language Scientific are often much clearer and more readable than the original, source-language texts they were derived from.
Very few people can write well in a foreign language. Language Scientific requires that all of our linguists translate only into their native language, and that they have significant experience authoring the types of documents they translate for us.
When translating from English to Spanish, we are careful to differentiate between the Iberian Spanish—the dialect of Spanish spoken in Spain—and Latin American Spanish. Although business and technical styles of writing are uniform enough in Latin America to enable us to produce a "neutral" version usable in all Latin American countries, that version is going to sound foreign in Spain.
For example, people in Spain and in Latin America use different computer terminology. Whereas the former tend to create indigenous words for new technical concepts, the latter usually assimilate the English terminology into Spanish. For example, the Spanish call computer "ordenador," while Mexicans or Argentines call it "computadora."
Those few professional translators around the world who have science or engineering backgrounds and who meet our accreditation requirements enjoy working with us because we understand them better than any other translation firm does, and we provide them with the support and the infrastructure they need to be most productive.
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