Aviation: the importance of specialised translation

The aeronautical industry is one of the most regulated worldwide and among the most demanding with regard to translation or localisation of websites and software, due to the specificity of its technical terminology.

Machine translation is therefore a fundamental aid in delivering translation projects for the aviation industry. The human factor, however, remains very important in the translation of contents for this industry.

What is the role of translators in this technical and challenging translation field? What is the importance of correctly translating the terminology and the meaning of aviation texts?


Technical translation in the aeronautical industry

Aviation can be described as the human endeavour in science and engineering to fly in Earth's atmosphere. It involves aircraft, airports, workers and all businesses related to the industry of its various components.

The aviation sector, due to its diversity, importance and specific multiculturalism, constantly requires translation, interpretation, localisation and terminology services in the various fields.

Translation projects in this area include the translation of national and international legislation, JAR standards (technical standards common to aviation), workshop manuals or internal and external communications.

These translations are particularly demanding since the terminology used is closely linked to science and engineering, meaning that a thorough knowledge of these areas is required for the effective technical translation of these areas.

Aeronautical translation is therefore a market niche and a focus of specialisation for translation companies, which need qualified translators for these projects.

The Specialised knowledge also involves adapting to new terms that may arise in the industry and the continuous updating of knowledge in the area as well as thorough knowledge of the source and target languages of the translation.

From aeronautical engineering to flight safety, also encompassing airport safety, translation is everywhere: in the international communication demanded for air traffic and the multilingualism needed for a common understanding.


The human factor in translation for aviation

The need to ensure the speed and terminological correction of translation projects can involve consulting databases of aeronautical terminology and even the use of machine translation mechanisms.

Machine translation is always a way to standardize translation processes and it is a very useful aid for the work of translators, allowing them to translate content in a consistent and accurate manner.

However, and particularly in a sector like this one, machine translation cannot replace human translation. The quality of translations is the most important factor in translations for aviation, in order to ensure effective communication between languages.

The importance of safety in civil aviation, whether for consulting procedures’ manuals on commercial flights, communications in airports or between air traffic controllers and pilots, leads to these high translation and interpretation requirements.

The human factor and the specialisation of translators are, therefore, very significant in the provision of an assured and effective technical translation in order to guarantee this good communication.

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