METM21 Online presentation 

Engineering your text: creativity in technical translation

Lucy O’Shea, Cheltenham, UK

This presentation will discuss the various roles of a technical translator (code-breaker, editor, researcher, translator, technical writer and linguistic inventor). Although clarity and accuracy of information are of utmost importance in technical (engineering) documents, there is a certain amount of creativity involved in the translation process, which is often overlooked. This presentation will cover the issues faced by technical translators and how we can overcome them to produce high-quality translations.

Technical translation is often seen as the “ugly duckling” of translation. Although it accounts for a very high percentage of global translation output per year, it is still largely neglected in academic courses. Their focus is often on literary translation, which remains a niche activity in professional practice. This presentation aims to give credit to an area of translation that has become increasingly necessary due to international legislation, industry standards and globalisation.

The presentation will cover aspects of style and creativity, based on my industry experience (aerospace). Attendees can download a handout beforehand, including tips and examples as well as editing exercises. The presentation will be most relevant to professionals who translate or would like to translate technical texts into English.

Discover the issues faced by translators of technical (engineering) texts and come away with tips to ensure your target texts are accurate, effective and palatable.

About the presenter

Lucy O’Shea has been translating professionally since 2011. She has a BA (hons) in French and Drama (University of Birmingham) and an MA in Interpreting and Translating (University of Salford). She specialises in technical translation (namely aerospace) from French and Spanish into English. When not translating, she dances, acts and boxes!