Tag Archives: technical translation

The Importance of Translating Safety Information For Your Employees

Ensuring a safe work environment for employees is crucial for any business. Both safety signs and manuals play an important role in helping to maintain safety standards across the board for your company. While having these safety signs and manuals available in English is imperative for your employees who speak English as their first language, translating them into languages other employees may also speak natively will help your business avoid machine malfunctions, injuries, and potential lawsuits. Here are just a few reasons why translating signage and manuals could save your company money and give you peace of mind.

1. It ensures the safety of your employees and visitors.

The primary function for both safety signs and manuals is to ensure both employees and visitors alike are aware of any possible dangers and hazards associated with a particular machine or area within your company, thus preventing injury or machine failure. If any of your employees or plant visitors speak a language other than English as their primary language, having manuals and signage properly and professionally translated is of vital importance in order to ensure they are provided with the same level of safety standards as your English-speaking employees and visitors. An injury in the workplace can easily result in a lawsuit for your company if the person who was injured could not understand a manual for a machine or signage related to safety in the workplace.

2. It prevents pricy avoidable machine repair costs.

If an employee is unable to fully understand the operating manual for a particular machine he or she is working on, it could result in an otherwise avoidable machine malfunction if the employee does not use the machine as intended. The machine could also either become damaged or damage the surrounding workspace. Even an employee with a good grasp of English in a typical situation may struggle with some of the more technical vocabulary in machinery operating manuals. Having the manuals available in his or her native language will help eliminate repair costs, thus saving you money in the long term, since the employee is much more likely to fully understand the steps necessary to properly use the machine.

3. It will attract a wider pool of skilled workers and improve the morale of those who already work for you.

If your company is not known for having training and/or safety information available in an applicant’s native language, a highly skilled individual may decide not to apply for fear of not being able to perform the work competently. This means your company could lose out on a number of skilled workers who would otherwise be a very valuable asset in the workplace. Likewise, employees who feel valued are more likely to remain at a company. If workers feel frustrated by not being able to understand some of the safety requirements for their job, then the turnover rate for these workers will likely also be higher.


Having signage and materials available in more than one language could prove highly beneficial for your company. However, it is equally important to ensure that these are translated professionally and correctly. Even a slight error could result in employee/visitor injury or damage to your machines. If you are interested in learning more about translating your safety signage and materials, please let us know – we are happy to help!

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ATS Client Feature: Big Ass Solutions and Haiku Home

We’re back with another ATS Client Feature for you! Each month we are sharing about some of our favorite translation and interpreting clients. This month we’re excited to feature one of our most clever clients, Big Ass Solutions. You may have spotted one of their fans at your favorite local eatery, or even on an episode of Fixer Upper. They know how to keep things interesting, and we know you’ll enjoy learning about what they do!

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Big Ass Solutions has been in the fan industry since 1999. The company got their start as Big Ass Fans, but the research-driven company has since expanded to include Big Ass Light and Haiku Home divisions. Because of their commitment to continued innovation and improvement, they now have products and customers all over the world. That’s why Big Ass Solutions has been coming to us over the years to translate various installation guides, user manuals, and promotional materials into many different languages!

Special thanks to Big Ass Solutions for being one of our ATS featured clients! Stay tuned to learn about our other translation and interpreting clients. We can’t wait to share them with you! If you would like us to feature you in this series, please contact us and let us know.

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Filed under ATS News, Client Feature

Technical Manual Translation: 4 Tips for Clients

Technical manuals come in all forms and for all sorts of industries. Manuals are not just those that come with furniture, electronics and kitchen appliances. Technical manuals are used within factories, in construction, in production plants, etc. Industry is everywhere and the use of technical manuals are endless. So, it’s incredibly important to understand some basics before submitting a manual for translation. When purchasing translation of a technical manual, here are some important points to keep in mind.

Be clear about your expectations. Translation of technical manuals is not done overnight, so be clear about your expectations when you approach a translation vendor. If you need the translation back quickly, be prepared to pay rush fees. If you only want certain pages of the manual translated, make sure these are clearly pointed out or marked before you hand over the source document. This will help the vendor to give you an accurate quote and turnaround time for the project.

Decide if you need the vendor to recreate images and drawings or if you will have your own team handle these. If you choose to handle the formatting and recreation of images and drawings, you will inevitably save money and time. Translation agencies can handle many types of documents and files, so if you need the vendor to assist with images and drawings, be expected to pay a higher price than if you simply have the text translated and formatted.

Request that industry- and company-specific names be maintained. Certain words on switches or keys that also appear in manuals should be left in the source language if they will also appear on machinery or in software. This will allow those who utilize the manual to recognize these terms and feel comfortable operating equipment. If the terms in the manual differ from those on equipment, it can be more confusing than useful.

Be sure that your vendor creates a glossary or Translation Memory (TM) for your manual. This ensures consistency for future manuals into the same language, as well as other supporting documents. If you find an agency that produces an excellent first manual for your company, stick with them. They will be able to consistently produce high quality translations by employing the same linguists and TMs for your documents. When it comes to manuals, remember one thing if nothing else: consistency is key.


Filed under Customer Service, Translation Services