Five types of automotive translation you need to know about

Published on October 16th, 2018

Automotive translation is a broad concept that plays a crucial role at numerous stages of the design, manufacturing and sale of vehicles around the world. From the headquarters of the world’s leading car brands to the forecourts of dealerships in your local town, various types of automotive translation are essential to keeping things moving.

In this article we are going to look at five of the most important roles translation plays throughout the automotive industry.


5 key types of automotive translation

For the end buyer, automotive translation is never really noticed, unless something goes wrong – and this is something you need to avoid at all costs. Here are the five types of automotive translation that play key roles across the entire manufacturing and sales process:

  • Design resources: Design teams are often made up of experts from various language backgrounds and there is no room for communication problems. Interpretation services are often required and documents such as CAD designs need translating into multiple languages.
  • Manufacturing processes: When a vehicle is designed in one country and manufactured in another (or multiple others), it is crucial that teams are able to follow the exact same manufacturing process and achieve the right level of quality control. This requires fairly extensive translation of manufacturing processes, guidelines and other materials.
  • Safety documentation: Across the design and manufacturing processes, a huge amount of safety documentation is needed. Heavy items are lifted, toxic chemicals are used, surface temperatures become dangerous and just about every tool used to build and test vehicles could be dangerous.
  • User manuals: some people skip reading these things. However, manufacturers are legally obliged to provide all the necessary instructions and safety guidelines to protect the people driving, their lives and third parties as well.
  • Marketing material: As with all global industries, translating marketing material is vital to maximising sales in every target market. Sometimes translation alone will not be enough either and other language services will be needed such as localisation or transcreation to capture the right marketing message.

As you can see, the topic of safety makes a regular appearance in automotive translation and this is where accurate translation at every stage of the process is crucial.


Safety comes first, but profit is also important

Aside from translation mistakes potentially hiking up your manufacturing expenses, your biggest concern is the safety of the people building and using your vehicles, as well as the general public.

This safety concern is at the core of every type of automotive translation, making sure the essential information is always understood by the people who need it. This is just as important for the teams designing crucial components such as a seat belt system as it is for the people building and using them.

With safety confirmed, your next priority is maximising profit and this starts with reducing the negative impact caused by language barriers. Translation mistakes at the design stage can hold up new projects while errors at the manufacturing level can put production numbers behind. To minimise expenses, automotive translation needs to remove these language issues at every stage of the design and manufacturing process.

With expenses reduced, maximising profit is your next task and this is where automotive marketing translation takes the lead. Simply translating your marketing material into other languages will never make the kind of impact you are looking for with international audiences and what you need is to take a more creative approach to translation if you want to get consistent performance in every target market.

Posted on: October 16th, 2018