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Translation for a Global Giant: the Automotive Industry
Automotive translation is for experts - blog post

Translation for a Global Giant: the Automotive Industry

The automotive sector is one of the largest global industries on Earth. In fact, the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers has 37 member countries, with member China producing the most cars, and Ukraine the fewest.

Not only are there over three-dozen countries manufacturing cars, most of these operations are dependent upon global networking. Lear Corporation of Michigan is an example of one of the global parts sources; Lear produces automotive seating and electrical components at 257 locations in 38 countries!

Wherever driving vehicles is popular, engine performance, safety, and service are high priority issues for everyone involved. Safety documentation, repair manuals, user manuals, warranty documents, installation guides, CAD designs, system specs, sales materials – the communication necessary in the long process of turning raw materials into an individual’s car or truck is lengthy, complicated, and, yes, global.

Translation is the glue that holds together this gigantic industry. Behind the familiar shapes of auto engines, steering wheels, and dashboards are long lists of instructions for their production, use, repair, and maintenance. There are also legal contracts, sales agreements, warranties, manuals, and marketing brochures.

Consider this short example from a Ford-150 workshop manual, and imagine turning it into a sentence that any person anywhere in the world could understand. This passage describes symptoms of a problem that the manual owner is trying to fix:

Harsh engagements, firm shift feel, abnormal shift schedule, abnormal TCC operation or does not engage. May flash MIL.

Depending on your familiarity with automotive vocabulary, this may or may not make sense to you. Clearly the linguist who translates automotive texts from English to, say, Mexican Spanish, can’t rely merely on mastery of those two languages. Subject matter expertise is just as important. How does engagements translate when referring to shifting a truck’s gears? How do you transcreate TCC to a meaningful equivalent? What is MIL in Spanish? And this is just one tiny snip of information!

Automotive manufacturers require translation of documents for everything from the truck’s exhaust system installation, to brake system diagnostics, to legal patent descriptions. A combination of language and subject matter specialists is needed to ensure highest quality and optimal safety of the end products – cars and trucks. Whatever aspect of the automotive industry you are engaged in, the deep experience with automotive translation that a qualified language service provider has will carry your documents accurately from one language to another. Over 25 years, Skrivanek has accrued that experience to become a top translator of automotive documents. As long as driving is popular, and even as the automotive industry evolves in exciting and complicated ways, our automotive translations will keep your vehicles, and your business, running well.