Effective Technical Writing for Translators

Formats: Webinar presentations
Topics: Technical & scientific documents translation
Editing and proofreading
Services and specialization

Course summary
Start time:May 2, 2014 16:00 GMT     Add to calendar

The session has already taken place. A link to the video will be added for purchase within one working week after the session at http://www.proz.com/translator-training/course/10274

If you purchased the webinar please find the video at your My videos page http://www.proz.com/videos/my_videos

A certificate of attendance can be downloaded at http://www.proz.com/profile/?show_mode=standard#trainings

Summary:Good technical writing is a skill that can be developed and one that improves translation quality quickly. The speaker will cover techniques that produce quality texts that convey information effectively, precisely, clearly, and concisely. This session will give many practical tips for ‘into English’ technical translators and will recommend useful resources and style guides.
Do you want to make concrete improvements in your translations starting with your next job? You will leave this webinar with dozens of practical tips that you can implement right now, and a long list of resources that you can delve into when you have time to study the subject in depth.

Superb writing skills are not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about a technical translator’s skill set. The focus is usually on subject-matter expertise or methods for terminology research. Those are crucial, but good technical writing is a third skill that we can develop and one that improves our translation quality quickly.

We will discuss the known, well-defined methods for producing effective technical writing: texts that convey information effectively, precisely, clearly, and concisely. These include using plain English and strong active verbs. Next we will cover problems specific to translation, such as retaining ambiguity and avoiding 'carryover' - those features of the source language that show up too often in translations. We move on to points of technical and scientific style and common errors. Finally Karen will explain the benefits of using field-specific style guides and job-specific style sheets. There will be ample time for questions and discussion.

After this practical session, participants should be able to implement changes for the better in translations and see results immediately.
Target audience
1. Technical translators
2. Anyone who writes and edits technical texts
3. Translators who work into English
4. Translators who want to improve writing style and think about what makes good technical writing
Learning objectives
1. What technical writing is
2. Methods for producing effective technical writing
3. Problems specific to translation (e.g. retaining ambiguity)
4. Common errors in scientific style
5. The importance of style guides
6. Examples of field-specific style guides
7. Ideas for in-depth training on this topic, including other courses
No prerequisites
Click to expand
1. Introduction
2. Methods
3. Problems
4. Resources
5. Conclusion
6. Open discussion
Software and system requirements (click to expand)
Click to expand
For PC-based Users:

• Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
• Required: Internet Explorer® 7.0 or newer, Mozilla® Firefox® 3.0 or newer or Google™ Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled)
• Internet Connection Required: Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection
• Recommended: Dual-core 2.4GHz CPU or faster with 2GB of RAM (recommended)

For Mac®-based Users:

• Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 – Leopard® or newer
• Required: Safari™ 3.0 or newer, Firefox® 3.0 or newer or Google™ Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled)
• Internet Connection Required: Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection
• Required: Intel processor (1GB of RAM or better recommended)

To Use VoIP (microphone and speakers or headset):

• Required: Fast Internet connection (384 kbps or more recommended)
• Required: speakers or headset (USB headset recommended)
• NOT required: Microphone - attendees can communicate with the trainer through incorporated chat.


• For the visual section of the training course, we recommend that you have a 64kbps link. This means using an ISDN line or Broadband. Wireless connection is NOT recommended.
• For the audio section of the training course, we recommend that you have a headset or speakers.
• We recommend that you log in 30 minutes in advance of the start time to prepare for the training course.

Courses will be open half an hour before the start time. Please login before the start time to ensure that everything on your system is working correctly.
Registration and payment information (click to expand)
Click to expand
To purchase your seat at this session please click on the "buy" button. Available slots are limited and will be assigned to registered and paid participants as soon as payment is reported. Early payment is advised in order to secure participation. Allow some time for payment processing if you are paying by wire transfer.

After your payment is received, your status will be changed to “registered and paid” and your spot for the session will be secured. An invoice and receipt of payment will be sent to you for your records.

How do I access the online platform?

72 hours before the webinar takes place, you will receive an invitation to join the session. Please, click the registration link or button provided in the invitation email and complete the registration form.
 Karen Tkaczyk    View feedback | View all courses
Bio: Karen Tkaczyk works as a French into English freelance translator (FITI and ATA-certified). Her translation work is highly specialized, focusing on chemistry and its industrial applications. She holds an MChem in Chemistry with French (University of Manchester, UK), a Diploma in French and a PhD in Organic Chemistry (University of Cambridge, UK). She worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe, then after relocating in 1999, in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in the US. She set up her translation practice in 2005 and it took off quickly. Karen credits specializing, responsiveness and networking as the secrets to her success. She tweets at @ChemXlator.
Comments about this course

Effective Technical Writing for Translators

Sue Stewart-Anderson Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:53
Dutch to English
+ ...
Excellent presentation despite technical hiccupsMay 2, 2014

Thanks very much, Karen clearly knows her stuff and presented it clearly. Particularly useful were the list of style guides and her suggestions for defences against clients who may query or object to improvements that the translator makes to their writing


Antony Price Identity Verified
Local time: 17:53
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
Effective Technical WritingMay 2, 2014

Many thanks Karen. A solid panoramic view of style guides and clear enunciation of good practice, useful resources and tips to improve objective writing.


Inge Luus Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 18:53
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Video available one week after course?May 14, 2014

Hi, the training adverts say this course will be available under My Videos one week after the course. Its now more than one week later and I can't find the video under My Videos. Can somebody please advise when it will be available.


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Feedback on this course (1)
Extremely satisfied (5 out of 5)
"Excellent seminar, valuable information, resources and useful tips to mastering technical writing-va..." Read more

Attendees (32)
Laura Hastings-Brownstein
Laura Miller
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Philip Coucke
Kieran Sheehan
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Simon Mountifield
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Alison Rodriguez
Frank Jensen
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Hilton F Santos
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Shirley Lao
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Sue Stewart-Anderson
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Antony Price
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Cinnamon Nolan
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Helena Grahn
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