IT-translation is the translation of IT related materials. Information technologies have nowadays become an integral part of almost every sphere of human life and every type of modern equipment, with rare exceptions, are either devices equipped with embedded computers or options of combining the system with a computer control. As a rule, such documentation usually contains specific terminology which is understood only by IT-professionals and is very challenging for technical translators.
For this reason IT-translation has become a separate branch of written translation. The use of highly specialised terminology and stylistic devices establishes a close relation between IT-translation and technical translation; however these two types of translation have several differences.
The complexity of high-quality performance of IT-translation as well as other technical subjects lies in the fact that professional linguists who have completed education in humanities are not usually very strong at working with these types of texts. Moreover, due to the rapid pace of development of information technologies it is necessary to work in the field continuously in order to maintain a sufficient level of professionalism. The huge diversity of translatable texts complicates the work of translators. These texts include hardware and software manuals, technical descriptions, articles, press releases, comparative reviews, etc. The task of the IT-translator also includes the localisation of software (SW), in particular, the translation of PC games.
Most common types of IT-translation:
- Translation of manuals
The vast majority of an IT-translator's work consists of manuals for hardware and software. The difficulty is that these guides not only contain IT-terms but also are comprised of specific concepts related to the scope of the equipment.
- Translation of articles on information technologies
Articles for IT-professionals often contain examples of coding or script commands and in order to understand and translate these articles adequately, the translator sometimes needs to have at least some basic knowledge in programming languages or in the command syntax to be described.
- Translation of comparative reviews
IT-translators often have to translate comparative reviews of hardware and software for IT magazines and websites devoted to information technology. Comparative reviews usually are on the latest innovations in IT. The large number of summary tables and charts in comparative reviews requires a lot of concentration on numerical data and the skill of working with images.
- Translation of press-releases
Press releases usually focus on the latest innovations in IT, which requires the interpreter to follow the development of the IT market, have knowledge of the history of innovation of the hardware or software developed by the particular manufacturer, attention to detail and excellent language skills in order to precisely translate the message of the product that has not yet been released in the target market.
- Software localisation
Software localisation (translation of PC programs) is referred to as the adaptation of software to national requirements, including the provision of programs with regionally-specific data and print formats, the changing of the characters used, drawings, colour combinations, music fragments, etc., according to the culture of the target audience and other factors. Frequently localisation is perceived as only the translation of the interface into the target language
- Translation of PC games
The translation of games consists of translating both - interface elements as well as game menus. First of all, this is a translation of the dialogues between the characters of the game which requires a lot of experience in the translation of games of a similar type, a detailed knowledge of the plot to be translated as well as the role of the characters. The same requirements are applied for both translation fields - PC games and fiction: the translation should be adapted to the audience, taking into account the peculiarities of the target language and characters in it should help create an image and memorable.
Due to the aforementioned information, higher requirements are applied for IT-translators. In addition to professionalism in translation and professionalism in one or another area of IT, the translator must be enthusiastic, genuinely interested in innovation and constantly willing to improve his/her skills as well as share experience with colleagues. An excellent quality of translation can be guaranteed only in such conditions.