Effective Technical Writing for Translators


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$30 (Free with the Plus package)



78 minutes

Learning Objectives

1. What technical writing is
2. Methods for producing effective technical writing
3. Problems specific to translation (e.g. retaining ambiguity)
4. Common errors in scientific style
5. The importance of style guides
6. Examples of field-specific style guides
7. Ideas for in-depth training on this topic, including other courses


Good technical writing is a skill that can be developed and one that improves translation quality quickly. The speaker will cover techniques that produce quality texts that convey information effectively, precisely, clearly, and concisely. This session will give many practical tips for ‘into English’ technical translators and will recommend useful resources and style guides.
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Do you want to make concrete improvements in your translations starting with your next job? You will leave this webinar with dozens of practical tips that you can implement right now, and a long list of resources that you can delve into when you have time to study the subject in depth.

Superb writing skills are not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about a technical translator’s skill set. The focus is usually on subject-matter expertise or methods for terminology research. Those are crucial, but good technical writing is a third skill that we can develop and one that improves our translation quality quickly.

We will discuss the known, well-defined methods for producing effective technical writing: texts that convey information effectively, precisely, clearly, and concisely. These include using plain English and strong active verbs. Next we will cover problems specific to translation, such as retaining ambiguity and avoiding 'carryover' - those features of the source language that show up too often in translations. We move on to points of technical and scientific style and common errors. Finally Karen will explain the benefits of using field-specific style guides and job-specific style sheets. There will be ample time for questions and discussion.

After this practical session, participants should be able to implement changes for the better in translations and see results immediately.

Upload Date

October 16, 2014

Trainer Bio

Karen Tkaczyk - Karen Tkaczyk works as a French into English freelance translator (MITI and ATA-certified). Her translation work is highly specialized, being entirely focused on chemistry and its industrial applications. She holds an MChem in Chemistry with French (University of Manchester, UK), a Diploma in French and a PhD in Organic Chemistry (University of Cambridge, UK). She worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe, then after relocating in 1999, in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in the US. She set up her translation practice in 2005 and it took off quickly. Karen credits specializing, responsiveness and networking as the secrets to her success.

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