A picture of technical translation

A couple of days ago Enigmatic Mermaid published a photograph headed ‘A Tribute to the Linear Accelerator’. The photo shows a huge thing like an overgrown mobile phone in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Enig says this is what she translates about most of the time. This picture is haunting me. I know other technical translators who have also become experts in some complex program or piece of equipment. Fascinating.

2 thoughts on “A picture of technical translation

  1. Hi Margaret,

    Thanks for the link. We have a common friend, Tamara Barile, I think she attended the last ATA legal conference and met you. One degree of separation there.

    I got involved with linear accelerators and radiation therapy about 4 years ago and I can tell you that it doesn’t get any easier :-) Strangely enough, I barely use my medical dictionaries when I’m doing a project in RT. It’s mostly physics, eletronics, mechanics and sometimes a fair bit of mathematics, especially when there is treatment planning involved.

    I’ve just finished updating a linac safety manual, and this is one of the toughest types. From safety gloves to poisonous gases, from venting systems to types of nuts, the terminology range is impressive. The good thing is that it never gets dull…and it’s well paid. But when you remember the responsibility involved…well, it just gives me shudders!


  2. Yes, I know Tamara from the legaltranslators list, and I met her in New Jersey in May. But it was only when I got back home that I found out she knows Chico (Francisco) Moreira, who is the president of the Bavarian section of the BDÜ, the German translators’ association. It is a small world.
    There is apparently a lot of medical technology translation here – Erlangen has a lot of clinics and Siemens too, and there must be a lot of medical technology companies – but I haven’t encountered it myself.

    The Google image search showed a number of other linear accelerators just like yours…

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