METM21 Online presentation 

Technical style at issue

Karen Tkaczyk, Lone Tree, Colorado, USA

Technical translators with stylish technical writing skills distinguish themselves from the field in terms of both quality and income potential. I have experienced this through my success as a technical translator and through years of editing the work of others. Too few technical translators consider their writing skills: they usually focus on subject-matter expertise or methods for terminology research. Those are crucial, but good technical writing is a third skill that you can develop and one that improves your translation quality quickly.

This interactive session should prove practical, useful and easy to incorporate into your everyday translation work. We will start by reviewing the principles of effective technical writing to make sure everyone has the same foundation. We will spend the bulk of the time discussing examples of how to apply these principles to improve our technical translations.

I work into English and will focus here on style in English technical writing. People working into other languages will see obvious opportunities to reflect on which of the ideas are relevant for their target language. I encourage attendees who work into English but not typically on technical texts to reflect on which principles apply for all types of English texts and which they need to jettison for their work. Attendees should leave knowing how to apply the theory and practical tips presented, starting on Monday morning!

About the presenter

Karen Tkaczyk first trained as a chemist, then set up as a freelance French to English translator and editor in 2005. She is certified by ATA and a Fellow of ITI. In 2021 Karen became Director of Life Sciences Solutions with MasterWord, now her primary role. She continues to train anyone who wants to listen on how to improve scientific and technical writing, quality assurance in translation and localization, and building life sciences expertise in language services.