Posts by Tag

See all
Marek Makosiej
December 13, 2022
17 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Machinery Translation

Complex machine interior

Translation is an essential process for any business that manufactures machinery and equipment. Not only does translation ensure that your customers have access to the same content in different languages, it also ensures that the quality of the translation is up to par.


In this blog post, we'll outline the reasons why you need translation for your products, as well as the different types of machinery products that typically require translation. We'll also discuss the most common types of translation required for this industry, and provide tips on how to find a qualified translator for your needs.


So be sure to read on to learn everything you need to know about translating machine products!


Why Do You Need Translation for Your Machine Products?


Translation is critical for machine products to be understood by customers all over the world. This is especially important for products that are used in hazardous or dangerous environments.


Translation allows customers to understand how the products you manufacture work, and makes it easier for them to make informed decisions when buying and using them. In addition, properly documenting all aspects of the machine from the original design to the current state can help you get a smooth translation. By doing this, you not only ensure that your machine is accurately translated, but also that all customers can understand it. This way, when they have your product-related materials translated and available in their languages, they can be both effective and, what's more important, safe when using your machine.


Is Specialized Machinery Translation Good for Your Business?


Translation is an essential part of any business, and machinery translation is no exception. Many manufacturers rely on professional translation services to support their international growth. This is because translation is an important part of ensuring that the machinery is understood and used correctly worldwide.


Translation services can provide accurate and timely translation of documentation, machine specifications, technical manuals, and other vital documents. In addition, translation services companies can also provide interpreters for training and customer service on- and off-site.


Types of Machinery Products That Need Translation


Machinery translation is an essential service for companies that manufacture products in different languages. It is used in manufacturing, industrial equipment, heavy equipment, construction, mining, electric equipment, and more.



There are a variety of products that need translation, including engines, pumps, generators, and factory machines. When translating machinery products, it's important to take into account the specific needs of the target market.


Some common languages for machinery translations include English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese.


When translating content for such products, it's important to take into account the safety regulations and other specifics of the target market.


Manufacturing Translation


Manufacturing line equipment


Manufacturing translation is an essential part of ensuring that products are correctly and safely produced. Translation can be something as simple as a safety label or commands and notifications in the machine software interface - making sure everyone on the assembly line is made aware of what they're doing at all times.


This important task can also involve special machine types, like lathes, grinding machines, drilling machines, shaper machines, broaching machines, etc., that need to be translated into various languages for global production and global product rollouts.


As such, it's important that all the users fully understand every machine on the assembly line they work with at any location worldwide, so that no errors occur during manufacturing.


Industrial Equipment Translation


Industrial engineering equipment


There are various types of industrial machines that need translation, such as power saws, drills, hand tools, presses, polishing machines, etc., each of which needs its own specialized translator.


If you're not sure which machine your product falls into this category, ask your machine supplier/distributor or manufacturer for help. You can also get in touch with a translation service provider specializing in industrial equipment translation. If they are real experts in this type of translation, they can also offer a free consultation for you.


Heavy Equipment Translation


Heavy equipment at the road construction site


Heavy equipment translation is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it ensures that the products being sold are accurately represented in many languages. Secondly, it helps to ensure that these machines function correctly - whether they're used in construction or industrial settings. Thirdly, translation services can be invaluable when it comes to machine maintenance and repair; without accurate translations, often crucial repairs cannot be made. And finally, with increasing globalization came an increase in the demand for heavy equipment translation services - meaning businesses of all sizes stand to benefit from them!


The types of heavy equipment products that need translation include:


  • Forklifts

  • Truck loaders

  • Excavators

  • Compressors

  • Machine maintenance and repair services


Construction Equipment Translation


High crane over a building


Translation services for construction equipment can be quite important, as these machines play a significant role in various types of construction projects.


  1. Translation services are needed for products such as cranes and bulldozers, which are used in building and repairing structures.
  2. Materials for graders and dump trucks also need to be properly translated into multiple languages, so that they can be understood by contractors working on the job site.
  3. It is important to bear in mind that all construction equipment needs translation - those items have special features or functions that cannot easily be conveyed through normal language use.


Mining Equipment Translation


Mining equipment in action


Mining equipment translation is important for companies that do business in the mining industry. Translation services help ensure accuracy and clarity when it comes to product information and descriptions, helping to increase sales. Here are some of the most common types of construction equipment products that need translation:


  • Large mining trucks

  • Hydraulic mining shovels

  • Large dozers

  • Wheel tractor scrapers

  • Draglines


Heavy Electric Equipment Translation


Heavy electric equipment and discharge


Heavy electric equipment translation is a vital service that companies in the electric sector need. This is because safety is at stake in this niche.

Some of the most common products that require translation include steam generators, turbo generators, transformers, switch gears, and relays.

Only accurate translations of the materials accompanying these appliances can guarantee the safety and efficiency of people operating them. If these are in place, you are ready for, as AC/DC once put it, "high-voltage rock'n'roll".





Types of Content Translated by Machinery Companies


Translation is a complex and time-consuming process. That's why companies manufacturing machines often turn to translation services to help with the heavy lifting.


Companies manufacturing machines can translate all types of content, including product descriptions, operation and service manuals, patents, regulatory documents, and guidelines.




Copyright claim in a typewriter


Patents are an important part of any machine-building company's armory. Learning about the different types of patents and why they are so important is an essential first step. Once you understand this, it's time to invest in their translation – or protection – globally.


None of your business would function without intellectual property (IP), which includes trademarks, designs, copyrights, and patents. IP enables businesses to protect their innovations by preventing others from making unauthorized use of them. Without proper patent protection, your business could find itself at a disadvantage when competing with rivals who have invested heavily in protecting their IPs. And translation keeps your patents relevant internationally.


Product Descriptions


Products in a storage


Product descriptions can be made multilingual for machine-producing companies by translation. By translating all text, machine operators from around the world will be able to understand the product better and make informed choices when it comes to purchasing.


Accuracy is key - if a wrong word is used in translation, it could lead to confusion for customers who are trying to buy the right machine.


Special care should also be taken while translating scientific or technical terms as they may not be easily understood by an average customer. Careful consideration needs to go into choosing an accurate translator who is familiar with these areas of knowledge so that your customer's experience with your product will be perfect from start to finish!


Product Manuals


Product manual


With machine and engineering equipment businesses often dealing with complex products, it's important that they have accurate translations of product manuals. Manuals can contain different elements such as engineering drawings, product specifications, and other technical information.


Manuals and guides are often the first point of contact for customers so they must be translated correctly. That, in turn, guarantees that the end user understands how to use the equipment correctly It also ensures consistency across different versions of a manual - ensuring users are never left confused or frustrated about using the device.






Related content: 15 Best Practices for User Manual Translation






Technical Documents


Technical document with an engineer drawing


Technical documents are one of the most commonly translated types of content by machine manufacturers. This is because they play a vital role in businesses, enabling users from different countries to make the most out of machines.


Thanks to technical documents and language translation services, machine users can now get the information they need without any hassles or misunderstandings – no matter what their native language might be.


As such, technical communications are critical for both manufacturers and users! By ensuring quality translations and clear communication across borders, everyone involved will be able to take full advantage of your advanced technology.




Guidelines showing steps


Machine manufacturers make use of guidelines to translate industrial safety cautions, warnings, and notes. Guidelines are important both from a legal standpoint as well a user safety perspective. It is, therefore, necessary that users worldwide understand them so they can be prudent in their handling of machines.


Marketing Materials


Marketing specialist working on marketing materials at the computer


Marketing materials translated into the language of potential buyers can have a major impact on business growth thanks to the right message reaching the right prospects at the right time. On their market, in their language.


This is why companies that build machines often translate a wide range of marketing materials, ranging from websites, web pages, and landing pages, to blog posts and other types of customer-focused communication like brochures and leaflets.


Furthermore, translating videos into different languages can be extremely beneficial in capturing customer attention. They might help explain how the product works or even show it in action!


Operating Instructions


Operating instructions book


When it comes to machine users and operators, operating instructions are a must-read. Written in easy-to-understand language, they cover everything from how the machine works to maintenance tips and troubleshooting procedures.


Operating instructions should be updated on a regular basis so that everyone using the machines is kept up to date with all the latest changes - this will save time and ensure that machines run smoothly and efficiently. This applies to their translated versions, too!


Regulatory Documentation


Tablet screen showing regulatory information for a team


Translation is one of the many essential steps in ensuring that your company's products are safe to use and comply with all regulatory requirements. By having accurate translations of regulatory or legal documents, you can avoid any legal complications down the line.


Companies building all sorts of magnificent machines do understand just how important this process is and make sure that their translators adhere to stringent standards on local markets worldwide.






Related content: 10 Helpful Solutions to Document Translation Challenges






Translation for Machine Products: Where to Start?



Human Translation vs. Machine Translation


A robot with a human face


Although machine translation technology is widely used in many industries, human translation remains the most common type of translation. This is because machine translation often cannot replicate the nuances and cultural references that are inherent in human language translations.


Currently, the reason lies not with the machine translation technology itself, as it has recently made significant progress in quality, even in complex scenarios, but with humans using it not in an entirely efficient way. Managing expectations and budgets also plays a significant role in mismatched applications and missed opportunities for machine translation use in technical translations. That includes translating for machine-building businesses.


Machine translation is now able to render text into multiple languages with near-native accuracy, so machine-building companies need to be selective in their translation applications. However, machine translation should not be seen as a silver bullet – human translators are still essential for quality assurance and ensuring that the final product meets all legal requirements.


The main types of machine translation are:



NMT has been a quantum leap for machine translation and uncovered the possibilities that no one has ever dreamt of for applying this language technology. Until that time, SMT, RBMT (Rule-Based Machine Translation), or hybrid machine translation of the two (where both statistical methods and linguistic rules (e.g., grammatical rules) were used to generate the output) had been used with mixed results. They had been the reason why MT had the badge of "poor quality compared to human output". NMT has changed the game forever.


Based on neural networks, with new AI (Artificial Intelligence) features and algorithms being added all the time, it gets better and better every day to the point where many executives are checking their budgets and dreaming of "eliminating humans out of the loop". With the rising quality of training data and the availability of more and more language pairs, MT is becoming a fully valid option for many translation decision-makers looking for translations that sell their products, no matter the target language. Machine manufacturing translation is no exception here.


Perhaps the biggest achievement of such a rapid development of MT technology is that it's no longer a domain dominated by 3 big players, namely Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. There are plenty of great modern machine translation providers that together with specialized machine translation human post-editing vendors don't make you a Google Translate or Amazon Translate slave anymore.


Rule-Based Machine Translation, hybrid machine translation, and the capabilities of early machines compared to the current machine learning and natural language processing capabilities make this whole translation setup a robust business solution.


But back to the human translation model. Human involvement in the process is still a critical factor in producing the quality that the machine manufacturing industry expects. From linguists, to project managers, the human brain is still the CPU of the whole process. And to make the most of this CPU, even if you want to join forces with linguistic artificial intelligence, you need a...


Specialized Translation Provider


Translation is one example of a business process that has traditionally been handled by humans. What makes the human translation model different from Google Translate and a similar solution is... people. And it's the people who do business with people, not entities or machines.


That said, you'll most likely need a freelance translator(s) or a translation agency with experience and history in localizing for the machine production industry. This way, you will secure higher quality, especially for high-visibility content and important documents. Neural or even statistical MT offers good quality but in the case of these assets, it may not be enough. Yes, we know that done is better than perfect but we also know that you may beg to disagree.


If you have one language you want to translate into from, for example, English, and you are more budget-sensitive, professional freelance translators who are native speakers of the target language are your way to go. For high-volume projects, coordinating multiple freelancers is not an option on your side as it means a lot of manual labor you or your team haven't been really hired to do. In that case, a translation company is a right choice. You'll find some of the arguments for this option below.






Related content: How to Budget for Your Technical Translation Services






Translation Technology and Workflow


Piping with cables


Although freelance translators also use these, translation technologies and specialized workflows utilizing automation are the domain of translation and localization agencies.


Based not only on CAT tools but on multi-functional translation management systems, language service companies offer added language and technical support to match your requirements regarding volume, speed, quality, and price. They can offer a host of value-added services, including source text analysis and editing, a free client portal to make your experience as smooth as possible, connectors, integrations, APIs, and other automation capabilities, and computer software so that your company building these grand machines and technological giants can make the most of your investment in translation services.


Industry Terminology and Translation Quality


Man comparing apples


The center of everything: your terms, glossary, and company/industry jargon. Not every language service provider (LSP) can render that exactly the way you want. That's why apart from selecting a partner with a documented history in your industry, you need to observe if they are willing to listen to you and customize their approach to you. The translation you buy must be unique to your brand and product, not vice versa.


For this reason, successful technical translations and localization of other types of content are often dependent on bilingual dictionaries. Of course, machine learning, hybrid machine translation in real-time, or basic machine translation like Amazon Translate rendering your content in a second language for free in a fraction of a second are great and often very useful toys. But nothing can replace a solid term database and a style guide for a given market explaining your requirements for voice, tone, and local conventions (street names, phone numbers, currencies, and more, all specific for a given target country, language, and culture). Together with a smooth process and useful technology, you can't go wrong.


With those in your arsenal plus the best practices and experience of your translation partner, you can be sure that your global growth will be steady and uninterrupted.






Related content: How Much Does Document Translation Cost?






What's Your Translation Machinery?


Clock mechanism


Translation is an important process that can help you communicate your business goals and intentions to the global market. This is also true for manufacturers of machines of various types for different industries.


By understanding the different types of machine products that need translation, you can ensure that your translation process is tailored to the needs of your business. Your translation machinery is on its way to serve you. Go and grow!


Recommended articles:

The Critical Role That Reference Materials Play in Translation Quality

How Much Does Document Translation Cost?

Why and When to Use Desktop Publishing Service for Your International Growth