Translation from Chinese English
Lately, we have come across an increasing number of manuals for equipment from Chinese manufacturers; most of them are written in a peculiar (sometimes even absurd) version of English, which is known among translators as Chinglish. Trying to save money on translation from Chinese to English, the manufacturer tends to choose unexperienced translators or relies on machine translation.
The "what you pay is what you get" rule never fails: the quality of the translated text is extremely low. For example, the word plate can be used in the meaning of a panel, a board, or an autosampler. The word cable, though meaning the same item, can be translated as a connector, a wire, or even a cord throughout the same text. Machine-generated technical wording needs to be transformed into a digestible and comprehensible text, which will not cause any difficulty to operators and other specialists. Such transformation is handled by our technical translators and our editor who has both a trained eye and an in-house glossary of English-Chinese words and expressions.
To do such translation, the translator should dig into the English text and make sense of it (in other words, the translator should translate from Chinese English into English English). This can be done only by a competent technical expert who is knowledgeable in the processes described in the documentation. This is why we entrust such translations only to technical translators specializing in the target industry or field. We also keep track of the best decryption efforts in translation from Chinglish to shortlist such translators for future similar projects.
Such translation is more time- and cost-consuming than translation of standard technical texts written in English. Keep this in mind when planning to have technical documents from China to be translated. Although the quality of the source text lacked consistency, and frequently the text was challenging and almost incomprehensible, we were able to do accurate and professional translation so that our customer could start on-site training of CNC operators of the new equipment and put it into operation.