Tech Talk: Translating for the Tech Industry
ATA64 Miami | Session 075
Friday, October 27, 2:00–3:00 PM
San Francisco and Silicon Valley are the epicenter of the global tech industry, and the tech products created in the Bay Area generate a huge amount of work for translators working out of English. But there are many other important tech hubs around the country and of course also around the world, offering high-level work for translators working out of languages other than English.
Germany’s tech industry generated revenues of €113 billion in 2022 and is poised to continue growing in 2023 and beyond. Two of the software companies with the highest profile in the T&I industry—Trados and DeepL—are from Germany. (Trados GmbH was founded in Stuttgart, and DeepL GmbH is still based in Cologne.) And SAP SE, based in Walldorf near Heidelberg, currently ranks among the top five software companies in the known universe, generating revenues of €32.5 billion in 2022.
Bottom line: Tech is a strong industry in Germany, and software products and services are future-focused and seemingly immune to recessions, pandemics, and other disruptions. Oh, and tech clients have lots of money! That’s good news for the people who work for them, including the translators who help them penetrate global markets with the “rest-of-world” language of English.
Every year for the past quarter century, I’ve earned the majority of my income translating for the German tech industry. In my presentation at ATA64 in Miami, I’ll share the tips and tricks I’ve accumulated over the years for transforming typical German tech writing into the kind of English that strikes the right tone and will help your tech clients succeed in global markets. I’ll use examples of text that appears right in the graphical user interface of enterprise software as well as the marketing copy used to promote it. A few areas of focus:
- Idiosyncrasies of tech jargon in German and English
- Register shift from German to English
- False friends in tech lingo between German and English
- The three Cs of good tech writing
I hope to see many of my colleagues in the German Language Division there—not only those who already translate from German to English in the field of tech, or who aspire to, but also those who translate into German.
ATA64 in Miami will be my fourteenth ATA Annual Conference, and my third time presenting a German-language session. I can’t wait to see you all there!
Michael Schubert is an ATA-certified German-to-English translator based in San Francisco providing premium translation services with a focus on corporate communications in the software industry. He is also an Adjunct Professor for German-to-English translation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. More at www.michaelschubert.com.