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Technical translations. - The style is function of the end reader. As a rule, the first step is to find out who is going to read the manual. Most software user's manuals are way too technical for the average reader to understand. The purpose is to help the end user use the product, not to show him he is a dummy 'cause he doesn't get what is meant by "set the radio button for active sensing of TCP/IP network connections". Exactness of the translation is key, because people reading it need to be able to USE the materials.
Software Localization - This is one of the most specialized branch of technical translations. Beside the quality of the translation proper, the software must work. That implies programming & localization knowledge on the part of the translator.
Literary translations - Not to be confused with Literal translation. One is translating not only the concept, but also excitement, vision, thrill, style, and emotion. People read literary work for pleasure mostly. In this type of translations, style and fluidity are more important then accuracy. A "6.6 feet fellow" is a huge man, and it is unimportant whether one says "2 m" or "1,9812 m". Actually the precision in "1,9812 m" might spoil the effect by taking the reader out of the story. In technical translations however, "6.6 feet" is "1,9812 m" and certainly not "2 m". In literary translations, the translator needs to be somewhat of an author himself.
Marketing translation - This type of translation is a close relative to literary translations and a distant cousin to technical translations, as the key is impingement. Getting across the impact of the original text is a key quality. In case of a large campaign, I strongly recommend the use of surveys in the target country. This is the only way to find whether or not an ad will sell. Another key point is that the translator needs access to the positioning and marketing strategy of the company. After all the translator is part of making that strategy happen. Most translators are ready to sign non-disclosure bonds and they take it very seriously. Beware that marketing translations are a VERY specialized type of translations, and a mistake can result in huge losses. Never go cheap on a marketing translation.
To be continued… one of these days. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to contact me. I'm always happy to hear from visitors, and do answer personally.