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Translation of operating manuals at PRODOC

At PRODOC, we offer you cost-effective and efficient translations of operating instructions, user manuals, package inserts, leaflets or datasheets into many languages.

In addition to English, this includes all other EU languages as well as some Asian languages, as we serve the target markets of Europe and Asia.

Translating operating instructions with CAT tools

We generally use CAT tools for technical translations. This ensures cost-effective translations and the use of standardized terminology, especially for operating instructions.

Translating operating instructions in Microsoft Word

There is great potential for optimization in the translation of operating instructions created in Word. You can save costs even before the translation by preparing your Word file accordingly.

Translating operating instructions in InDesign

At PRODOC you can have your InDesign operating instructions translated directly. We then deliver the translated InDesign file already pre-formatted. This saves time and money!

When translating package inserts, datasheets etc. into several languages, there is no getting around the use of a CAT tool. This is because the many different versions of manuals, instructions for use, etc. often consist of 80-99% identical text, which should ideally only be translated once.

CAT tools can recognize these identical texts very efficiently and help the translator to ensure that only new texts are actually translated.

Request a non-binding quote
Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Weimar

Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Weimar

Managing Director

Special aspects of translating instructions

Operating instructions, instructions for use and manuals are used in a wide variety of specialist areas and must be available in different languages for international companies in order to ensure safety at all times.

The precise and comprehensible translation of instructions and manuals is necessary for correct cooperation at international level. Our qualified translators are specialists in their field and offer technical and user knowledge. All products with manuals and operating instructions that are offered in different countries require a professional translation into the local language. According to the EU directive, every manufacturer must supply the operating instructions in all official languages of the country of destination. In the context of safety at work, a professional translation of manuals is necessary because the instructions describe the professional use, maintenance and service. The translation of operating instructions for technical equipment and machinery is also part of our portfolio.

What should I bear in mind when translating technical instructions?

Various aspects play an important role in technical translations. An important point is to take into account the cultural and linguistic conditions of the country, otherwise the texts will not be comprehensible.

Our qualified employees translate into their native language, ensuring that our translations meet the highest linguistic standards.

Übersetzung einer Anleitung

Minimize handling costs

Another element is technical expertise to ensure that all texts meet the standards in terms of content. Thanks to their extensive professional experience, our translators offer comprehensive specialist knowledge in the various technical fields, to ensure a linguistically and technically flawless translation.

The respective country-specific provisions for operating instructions are also important in order to meet all the requirements of the target market. For example, special requirements apply to certain products: Some devices fall under the Machinery Directive. In addition, ATEX products for explosion protection and products for safety at work are also subject to strict regulations.

When it comes to translating operating instructions, there are many good reasons for hiring a professional. This is generally not more expensive and translation agencies use special software that enables them to translate operating instructions consistently and promptly.

The following arguments are often used by proponents of translating operating instructions themselves:

  • “We have employees / foreign representatives where we can have the operating instructions translated in-house – this saves us costs.”
  • “We can just have the operating instructions translated by Google Translator – it doesn’t cost anything.”
  • “Our products are so complicated that a non-specialist translator wouldn’t understand them anyway.”

All three arguments sound convincing, but are misleading because not all aspects are considered.


The translation of operating instructions by internal employees or employees in foreign offices does not lead to external costs, but there are decisive disadvantages: the main task of these employees is a different one, translations are not completed on time, inconsistent terminology is used, existing translations are reused according to the trial-and-error principle. Professionals use CAT tools!

Google Translator:

Google makes mistakes, as do all other generic machine translation services. The more complicated the text in the operating instructions, the more likely the translation errors will be. The terminology used in the translations is not consistent – on one page, several different terms are used in the foreign language for the same English word. Only post-editing by a specialist translator makes the machine translation good!

Specialist knowledge:

In general, you are the expert for your products and all external parties cannot have the same expertise. However, a good translator who has extensive experience in your industry can acquire the necessary knowledge by asking specific questions. Such an outside perspective often helps to improve the German operating instructions and make them easier to understand for the end user – specialist translators are your best beta testers!


Advantages of having your operating instructions translated by PRODOC

Certified quality

Your translation will be prepared by native-speaking specialists and the revision will be carried out in accordance with ISO 17100. This means you receive a certified translation service for your operating instructions in accordance with international standards. The certification defines the requirements for language, style and consistency of terminology as well as for project and quality management.

Customized service

If you would like to have your operating manuals translated by PRODOC, our price calculator will help you to estimate the costs involved. Calculate quickly and easilythe translation costs for the language of your choice We offer a range of services, depending on the quality requirements. We recommend our certified translation service for the translation of operating instructions.

Translation of manuals for many industries

We offer professional translations of manuals and operating instructions from a wide range of industries by experts in the relevant field.

Consistency & falling prices thanks to CAT tool

When translating instructions, manuals and other documents for different products from one manufacturer, there are often many similar texts. This also applies to different versions of the same document.

We use CAT tools to translate instructions and manuals very efficiently in a wide variety of file formats. In this way, we reduce your costs for better efficiency.

Supported document formats:

Pay translations only once!

Identical texts are present in many versions and variants of operating instructions, datasheets etc. In technical jargon they are referred to as “internal repetitions” or “100% matches”. With PRODOC, you pay nothing for these texts, while other providers often charge 5-30% of the normal word price for these texts.

PRODOC is therefore usually the more cost-effective provider for the translation of many documents, despite often higher word prices – and this with certified quality.

Anleitungen, Datenblätter, Beipackzettel - Bild zur Veranschaulichung von Internal Repetitions

Cost calculation

Using 2 examples, we show that the total costs for PRODOC customers become more favorable in the course of the cooperation by not calculating the 100% matches. This also applies to substantially higher nominal word prices.

Example 1:

  • Double price per word for new translations at PRODOC
  • No calculation of “100% matches” at PRODOC
  • 10% of the normal word price for “100% matches” in the comparison offer

-> From about 20-30 similar documents PRODOC is cheaper

Example 2

  • A 50% higher price per word for new translations at PRODOC
  • No calculation of “100% matches” at PRODOC
  • Usual cost of 30% for “100% matches” in the comparison offer

-> From about 5-10 similar documents PRODOC is cheaper

For an example of the cost calculation for the translation of different versions of user manuals, datasheets etc., see CAT tools.

Low word prices for comparative offers

By offering favorable word prices, providers often try to win the contract for the translation of a manual. This is usually a negative transaction for the customer. Profit is then made on follow-up orders via hidden costs for “100% matches”.

At PRODOC, we are convinced that our customers should only pay once for a translation and not have to pay again for each follow-up order.

Request comparative offers and ask about the costs for “internal repetitions” / “100% matches”

Copy&Paste is time-consuming and error-prone

As changed/added texts cannot always be identified easily with change tracking, often not all changes are captured and passed on for translation. This leads to inconsistencies between the original version and the translated manual.

Since only snippets of text are translated, translators have no context. Without a terminology database available they will often use different translations for the same term in the source text.

The texts to be translated are copied into a translation file using copy&paste, and this process is reversed after the translation is finished. In any case, this is time-consuming and error-prone. With no command of target languages such as Chinese, this procedure equals flying blind. You are fortunate when all new translated texts end up in the right place in the manual.

With the PRODOC Fair Price Policy you save money and increase consistency

Since we do not charge 100% matches, you can always give us the complete document for translation. There are some advantages to this:

You only ever pay for the actual words to be translated

A standardized terminology is used and the translator sees the context and does not have to guess the context of the sentences to be translated.

No manual copy & paste: this avoids errors and significantly reduces internal administration work.

Preparation of operating instructions for the translation workflow

You can further minimize the total costs of the finished translated manual. For this purpose, you should prepare user manuals, datasheets, instruction leaflets, etc. in the source language in such a way that the effort for the layout of the translated documents is minimized.

As the same document is translated into more languages, this optimization of the source document becomes more important.

For information on how to optimize your documents, see the Know-how menu:

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Translation needed?

Do you want to order translations of instructions, operating instructions, package inserts…?

Request a non-binding quote
Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Weimar

Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Weimar

Managing Director