• Katharina Gruber

Why Subject Matter Experts Are Essentials In Translation

While professional translators are knowledgeable and proficient people but you cannot expect them to understand everything about the subject they’ve been asked to translate. Robust knowledge of the subject matter becomes even more important when it comes to translation jobs that involve in-depth subject knowledge. Typically, a subject matter expert or SME is someone who possesses special skills or expanded knowledge in a particular industry, specialty, or job and hence, they can offer expert service in their respective domains.

Unfortunately, the importance of subject matter experts is sometimes overlooked in the translation industry, despite the value they’re capable of adding to the work. Here, we’ve jotted down three key reasons why an SME is important for any good translation service agency.

1. Better Accuracy

Subject matter experts offering translation services can easily capture both the details and essence of the source materials. For instance, when translating healthcare-related documents, a translator, who only possesses an overview of the industry, may find unique terms commonly used medical sector quite confusing. As a result, not only the translation work might take a long time but it’d involve the risk of inaccurate or poor translation as well. On the contrary, when the same job is done by a translator, who’s is also a subject matter expert in the healthcare industry, the final translation is likely to be a more accurate and reliable one because of the person’s technical education and training in the field. Additionally, subject matter experts tend to continue study in their respective fields and thus, they’re capable of providing the most up-to-date knowledge of a specific area of expertise.

2. Accomplishment of Intended Goals

The biggest objective of most of the translation works is to convey the same feeling and meaning exactly as those are of the source materials. The words have to be translated into what they exactly mean in the target language. And this sometimes involves explaining a single word with the help of a sentence or phrase. For instance, when it comes to a translation work that involves a step-by-step procedure, the translator not only needs to know what the words in the source material mean but why they’re being used and how they fit into the translated work as well. When such a translation job is carried out by a subject matter expert, the translated text becomes much more understandable to the person(s) who’ll be reading it next.

3. Quality Work

Subject matter experts, apart from keeping themselves updated about their respective industries, are people who know where and how to find the complete knowledge of their relevant fields when needed. It becomes extremely important for translation jobs that involve research. When it comes to doing perfect translation work, an SME clearly knows what resources to consult and where to find them. Once the resources are found, the SME can leverage them fully by completely understanding their language, content, and specialized area that might be useful for the target readers, which significantly improves the quality and reliability of the translation service agency in which the person is associated with.

Closing Thoughts

With the changing nature of the social and cultural situations across the globe, the scope of work in the translation industry is changing as well. These days, translators are required to be aware of the advancements in a diverse range of fields, the complexities related to the subject matter, etc so that they don’t miss out on important nuances that make translated works perfect. Hiring SMEs as translators also helps to deliver efficient work faster because they don’t need to pause every couple of words or phrases to understand something that’s unfamiliar.

At Bare Bones Translations, we only employ translators who’re subject matter experts and thus come with a keen understanding of a diverse range of specialized industries. You can connect with us through phone: 512.571.2296 or email: to learn more about our specialized service offerings.

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