What is technical translation?

Technical translation is the process of transferring knowledge bases, support content, user manuals, or product descriptions from one language into another. To make the most of it, it’s key to rely on subject-matter expert linguists who can use established terminology correctly and consistently with the help of a translation management solution.

Getting terminology right

For technical documents, it is essential to get the terminology right and ensure consistency. Phrase TMS has an advanced term base where you can define preferred and forbidden terms, link terms, and enforce QA checks.

QA check visual | Phrase
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Working with subject-matter experts

Technical knowledge is usually required for documentation translation. In Phrase TMS, you can create project templates with vetted translation providers. Or you can make use of the automatic linguist selection, suggesting linguists that previously worked on similar content. That way, you always work with subject matter experts, without creating additional manual tasks for project managers.

Creating automated workflows

Continuously translate additions to your documentation with the help of our API or Integrations. Our Zendesk integration detects new content, syncs it to Phrase TMS, triggers the translation process, and sends the finished translations back to Zendesk.

Workflow automation visual | Phrase
Machine translation visual | Phrase

Leveraging machine translation

A help center can easily grow to 100,000+ words. When localizing it, leveraging MT is the most cost-effective way. Let our AI-powered features pick the most suitable MT engine for each content piece and language pair. Once your content is machine-translated, you can define criteria based on which article should undergo post-editing by human translators (e.g. based on views or user reactions).

A seamless localization experience

Whatever your workflow looks like, Phrase can adapt to it.

Zendesk icon | Phrase


Reduce the number of support tickets and better aid international customers by translating your categories, dynamic content, published articles, and sections.

Contentful icon | Phrase


Translate all text and rich text fields in your nested entry-level and field-level content models.

Kontent.ai | Phrase


Seamlessly send content from your stores, websites, and community sites for translation.

WordPress icon | Phrase


Translate at the design stage by moving content directly between Sketch for Mac and Phrase.

Deliveroo logo | Phrase
Puma logo | Phrase
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Decathlon logo | Phrase

Phrase by the numbers

words translated via the Zendesk integration

quality increase when choosing the optimal MT engine

of our customers save time with Phrase TMS compared to their previous tool

Leveraging machine translation with Phrase, we were able to achieve a 200% increase in the languages available in our help center. This has helped us stay ahead of our product team—when mobile app stores started requiring localized documentation, we were ready. With innovative features like MT Autoselect, we are confident that we are always leveraging the best possible engine for each translation—whether it’s our games, marketing material, or documentation.

Jeremy Fair

Director of Localization & Business Systems

As a design department, we chose Phrase to help us manage the translation process and produce localized artwork more efficiently.

Michael Bush

Marketing and Communications Manager

Phrase has enabled the Vista localization operations team to effectively support the company’s mission to migrate to a new state-of-the-art tech stack for content management and to streamline workflows, providing more automation and easy-to-use off-the-shelf connectors.

Annalisa Barbaglia | Alexander Ekhilevskiy

Localization Manager | Senior Localization Manager

Here to field your questions on technical translation

How to ensure the quality of technical translations?

There are three aspects to it: terminology management, linguist selection, and review processes.

Before launching technical translation projects, spend time on creating your term base. There are linguists specialized in term base translation. When your multilingual term base is ready, Phrase TMS will make sure all terms are applied consistently with automated QA checks.

Selecting linguists with knowledge on the topic is another important factor. In Phrase TMS, you can use automatic linguist selection, suggest linguists that worked on similar projects before, or define your vetted providers in project templates.

For critical documents, e.g. on patents, we recommend adding additional review steps, or a language quality assessment (LQA). Both can be set up easily in Phrase TMS.

Should machine translation be used for technical translations?

For large content pieces, like a help center of 100,000+ words, leveraging MT is often the only cost-effective way.

Phrase TMS offers advanced MT features to make sure you get the highest-possible MT output quality. MT autoselect picks the MT engine that is most suitable for each language pair and content piece. MT glossaries allow you to customize MT output with your own terminology.

Once your help center is machine translated, you can define triggers and when content should undergo post-editing by human translators.

How to handle the costs of technical translations?

Specialized linguists usually charge more for technical translations. Phrase TMS has the right features to automate the handling of quotes and costs. You can set up net rate schemes for each translator. In quotes, only the net word count is considered. Non-translatables, translation memory matches, and MT output with 100% quality score can be deduced automatically.

In our analytics feature, you keep an overview of the costs per provider, language, or domain.

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