Imagine having to promote a product from your line of household appliances abroad to a new target market, the first thing you will have to think about to accompany the buyer in the after-sales phase will be to guarantee him a translation of the use and maintenance manuals into his own native language.

The user manual: why is it important?

How many times have you looked through and re-looked through an instruction booklet, included inside the packaging of the product you just purchased, in order to find the section translated into the language you are interested in.

The user manual is a document that must always be included in the product sales box. Its main objective is to educate the buyer about the product he just purchased. In addition to reporting the technical description and general characteristics of the product itself, it then informs the consumer on correct use and maintenance methods to facilitate behavior and prevent adverse effects on health and damage to the product. Other specifications on assembly and prevention through correct use are other peculiarities highlighted in the instruction manual.

Localization and translation of user manuals

You may have thought that translation from language to language was automatic, systematic and reduced to a simple linguistic transposition. But is not so.

What happened was a localization of the user manuals, rather than a mere translation. Why? Because the manufacturing company knows that, on the other hand, consumers of a different nationality from their own speak a different language and are part of a different culture.

Precisely with the aim of educating the consumer, there is attention to detail which the translation into language must take into account. To educate the consumer through the various phases of use and maintenance, communication must be clear, simple, coherent and relevant to the nature of the buyer himself.

Linguistic factor in the translation of manuals

The linguistic aspect is managed through localization of the manual. An adaptation of the original textual corpus to the country and therefore to the target language therefore takes place. The user manual is the first resource with which the buyer interfaces, a business card of the company. If the company is not able to communicate well with the user, the latter may feel deprived of the necessary information about the product and the attention he expected.

In a hypothetical scenario: if your customer was unable to make logical sense of what is described in the instruction booklet – even if expressed in his language – he would risk not only damaging the device by risking some maneuver, but also harming his physical health. Not forgetting the fact, that they may lose trust in your company.

Graphic factor and visual elements in the translation of manuals

But beyond the linguistic aspect, the translation of the manual goes further. The visual and graphic factor can be a point in your favor, if played well. Most buyers rely more on the images than on the descriptive components of the texts contained in the booklet. For this reason, companies decide to leave ample space for graphic illustrations and to simplify communication by reducing the textual component, if not eliminating it completely.

The graphics and visual elements must be simple, easy to understand and here too localised, with full knowledge of the facts. Just think of the electrical socket which can vary in shape from country to country. When localizing a manual, this consideration must be taken into account and illustrated with respect and in accordance with the country of destination.

In conclusion, the translation of a user manual is an operation that should be entrusted to those who perfectly know the language, culture, habits, habits and customs of the country of interest to you. Relying on translators specialized in the translation of manuals and instruction booklets is a wise and more than sensible decision.

LingoYou Press Office

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