As we know, science encompasses many different fields: physics, chemistry, maths, biology, medicine, pharmaceutics… each with its own specific characteristics. Although we’ve already talked about medical translation in another post, here we’re going to look at scientific translation in more general terms. Take a look at our post on medical translation to find out more about the translation of medical articles and other medical texts. 

If, on the other hand, you need to translate a thesis or scientific article, this is the post for you! 

What services do we offer? 

If you need to translate your doctoral thesis, a scientific article or even an entire scientific journal, here at Tatutrad we have professional scientific translators and editors who will solve all your problems. 

The most requested services include translating articles from Spanish into English, or vice versa, translating theses into English, or translating papers (academic works or articles) into Spanish. This is due to English becoming the main language in science, in addition to being a global language shared by speakers of different languages. 

However, it may also be that specialists don’t have a high enough level of English to understand such complex texts, and therefore you might also need translations into other languages. Leave that to us here at Tatutrad! 

Our internal processes ensure the highest possible quality of the final result, free from errors and respecting all the content. If you have any queries, get in touch with us via our contact form. 

What is scientific translation? How does it differ from technical translation? 

Scientific translation is part of so-called specialised translation and is one of the most complex branches of translation. As its name implies, it involves translating scientific texts, which as we’ve already mentioned, can be very diverse. 

Although scientific and technical translation may appear the same at first glance, the types of texts and thematic areas tend to be different. 

The most significant difference between these two translation specialisations is the difference between science and technology: the former is knowledge, while the latter is the application of that knowledge. At times, however, there is such a fine line that it’s very difficult to differentiate between texts. 

We’re now going to look at the main features of scientific translation. 

Firstly, it’s characterised by precise and objective language, which only lends to one possible interpretation. A good professional translator of highly specialised texts must ensure that the translation is also objective and accurate, leaving no room for ambiguity. 

Normally, this type of text does not use rhetorical devices or word plays, so the translator isn’t required to be particularly creative. However, if it is an informative text, it’s highly likely that metaphors will be used to make it easier to explain different phenomena. 

Furthermore, there are numerous technicalities and specialised terms. These pose the biggest challenge to translators, since these words aren’t frequently used in everyday language and only tend to be known by specialists. 

Understanding the terminology that belongs to each field is important to fully understand the text and offer a quality translation. Translators of scientific articles and other similar texts must therefore carry out rigorous and exhaustive documentation that isn’t necessarily required in other types of translation. 

Translators must also remember that some specialised terms can have one meaning in one context and a very different meaning in another. 

It’s also crucial that the same terms are always translated in the same way to avoid confusing the reader and to make reading the text easier. This is particularly important when translating theses, which are very extensive, highly complex documents. Scientific texts are already complex enough so we must try and make them as easy to read as possible. 

Mathematical formulas and units of measurement are used frequently. A scientific translator must recognise the symbols to know whether or not they should be translated and what they mean, so that the result is intelligible to the readers. 

In general, units of measurement are not translated because the International System of Units tends to be used. When it comes to other symbols, however, it depends on each case. That’s why it’s important to count on professionals like those at our translation agency who are familiar with scientific language and know what to do in each instance. 

Accuracy is also very important when translating formulas and symbols, as well as figures. If any figure or symbol is missing from the translation, the text can lose all its meaning!