Instructions for electronic products are a kind of scientific and technological style. They mainly aim at delivering useful information of products. The contents mainly include: preface, components, basic functions, usage guide, troubleshooting, etc. Some things have already gone abroad. What are the characteristics of the English translation of electronic product instructions? What should we pay attention to when translating? Below by the Beijing Translation Company's customer service personnel to tell you about.
I. Characteristics of English Translation of Instructions for Electronic Products
The characteristics of English translation of instructions for electrical and electronic products can be summarized as follows: accuracy, conciseness and objectivity.
电器、电子产品说明书是为了指导读者正确使用产品而写，它传递的信息（例如：各种数据、图表）首先必须科学准确。在英译过程中，必须把信息内容如实准确地翻译出来，显化原文隐含的信息，消除歧义。一些专业术语、固定用语和习惯说法必须表达得准确、地道，例如在翻译数码相机说明书时会遇到这样一些术语：镜头后盖（ear lens cap）、三角架（tripod）、数码变焦（digital zoom）、快门帘幕（shutter curtain）、曝光不足（under exposure）、取景器（view finder）等，需按专业说法表达出来，不可任意生造。
Instructions for electrical and electronic products are written to guide readers to use the products correctly. The information it conveys (for example, various data, charts) must be scientific and accurate first. In the process of English translation, the content of information must be translated truthfully and accurately, the implicit information of the original text must be manifested, and the ambiguity must be eliminated. Some professional terms, fixed terms and idioms must be expressed accurately and authentically. For example, when translating the instructions of digital cameras, we will encounter such terms as ear lens cap, tripod, digital zoom, shutter curtain, under exposure, finder, etc. Professional statements should not be arbitrarily created.
The conciseness of the English translation of instructions for electrical and electronic products is as follows:
(1) The content items are concise, clear and logical. For example, the name of the component, the operation interface and so on are all accompanied by schematic drawings, and then marked with arrows; the operation steps are marked by item symbols or numbers in turn; in some places, the data information is tabulated, which is simple and clear, so that people can see at a glance.
(2) 常用缩略形式。例如：液晶显示（Liquid Crystal Display) 常缩写成LCD; 发光二极管 (Light Emitting Diode) 常缩写成LED; 中央处理器 (Central Processing Unit) 常缩写成 CPU; 自动对焦（Auto focus）常缩写成AF; 手动对焦（Manual focus）常缩写成MF
(2) Common abbreviations. For example, liquid crystal display is often abbreviated as LCD; light Emitting Diode is often abbreviated as LED; central processing unit is often abbreviated as CPU; automatic focus is often abbreviated as AF; manual focus is often abbreviated as MF.
Instructions for electrical and electronic products objectively present the relevant content of the product, guide readers to follow a certain logic of thinking step by step, know what to do, how to do, and then understand and use the product correctly. These contents are descriptive, objective and not emotional. For example:
Original: Emergency exit function key allows users to open CD tray manually when power failure occurs.
译文：The emergency-eject option allows the user to naturally open the CD tray during a power malfunction.
The emergency-eject option allows the user to naturally open the CD tray during a power malfunction.
II. Translation Skills of Instructions for Electrical and Electronic Products
Instructions for electrical and electronic products cover a great deal of space in describing the methods and procedures of use. Their language is plain and their rhetoric is monotonous. They seldom use figures of speech, personification, exaggeration and other rhetoric devices which often appear in literary works. As Wang Zuoliang wrote in his article "Meaning? Style? Translation", "A good translation always has both literal and free translations. Where literal translation can be maintained, free translation must be done freely."
1. literal translation
Literal translation is the most commonly used technique in translating Chinese instructions for electrical and electronic products into English. Zhou Jianren once wrote in an article entitled "Literal Translation" for Foreign Language Teaching and Translation: "Literal translation is neither a dictionary translation nor a dead translation or a hard translation. It requires true free translation, without losing the tone and context of the original text and translating it accurately.
2. free translation
In the process of English translation, some words or sentences in the original text should be adjusted properly so as to make the translation better conform to the expressive habits of English. Free translation is an important translation skill.
Word order adjustment. Chinese and English have different expressive habits. The order of words and clauses is sometimes different. For example, when expressing time and place, Chinese habits are first big and then small, while English habits are first small and then big.
Part of speech conversion. Translation is not a mechanical copy. When translating from Chinese to English, some parts of speech in the original text should be properly transformed according to the expressive habits of English in order to make the translation more natural and authentic. Verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs in Chinese can be translated into other parts of speech in English translation.
Abbreviation of words. Chinese and English have different ways of expression. In order to make the translation grammatical, formal and meaningful, the necessary words, words and clauses are often added or omitted on the basis of the original text.
The above content is sorted out for you by the customer service staff of Beijing Translation Company. I hope it will be helpful to you all. To learn more about it, you can pay attention to our website.