Reasons Why Technical Translation Will Need A Subject Expert

Informing someone of an aspect that is included in a technical document is widely interpreted to be stressful and confusing. This is especially so if the listener does not speak the language in which the material is written in. However, in some cases, some documents are created specifically for this situation, but what will happen if the signee asks a question about one of the parts of the text? So in order to prepare for such a problem in the future, there is usually an SME who is assigned to the project and case. An SME is also known as a Subject Matter Expert and is known to be particularly helpful to cases in which that require translation on technical aspects of a situation.


SME translation is a complicated occupation, and it consists of the ability to be able to quickly translate a document into a different language while ensuring that the terminology is being received well by the audience targeted. An SME translator is an individual who specialized in a specific industry. For example, Oil manufacturing or Medical.  An example of a Subject Matter Expert’s job is the translation for manual of an Advanced Medical treatment device. In a situation such as this, the SME at hand must be experienced in translations in the medical industry. However, if it is a manual or document about an eye examination device, then your SME must have at least a degree in the related area. There are many requirements to being a Subject Matter Expert, one of the main conditions includes a substantial study or expertise in the targeted language. Without a strong focus or training in the targeted writing, the manual or document will most likely be misinterpreted and cause significant problems and confusion in the future.

Poor technical translations

As one of the most dreaded things that could happen to an expert Subject Matter Expert, getting a technical translation wrong, can be catastrophic. Getting a translation wrong can happen easily, it may be due to a spelling error, or even the choice of words. Each aspect of the document plays an important role when it comes to technical translations. It is due to such consequences, that the need for a strong education in the targeted language and writing area is desired for the role of an SME translator. In most cases, document such as these, have crucial information on how to operate a complex machine, so as a result getting a translation wrong can cause many issues. Some effects or risks that may be caused or may occur include:

Technical translations
Technical translations
  • Accidents due to misinformation
  • Incorrect instructions to dealing with equipment
  • Improper care and procedures to wrong patients
  • The compromise of a client’s and judge’s trust in a courtroom
  • Incorrect procedure follow through when doing a check-up

There are many benefits to being exposed to and working together with an SME expert. Some include the information that you absorb due to being close to, working and learning new things. Another benefit to being exposed to SMEs also consists of a higher more potent quality in your overall translations.

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