Translation and Language Industry Observations

Synopsis: This blog post explores the complexities and importance of professional translation in the manufacturing industry, particularly for technical drawings. It demonstrates how language barriers can be seamlessly bridged to facilitate international collaboration and project execution. The post also shows how to utilize Adobe Illustrator for translating and editing of technical drawings in DWG file format, highlighting the software’s efficiency and adaptability in handling complex tasks.


In an increasingly interconnected global business landscape, the need for precise and reliable translation services has never been more critical, especially in the manufacturing sector. A recent request from a Thailand-based manufacturing company underscores this need vividly. This company, specializing in pipe supports for a heat recovery steam generator, faces the challenge of communicating their intricate designs to their partners in Uzbekistan. Their situation offers a unique insight into the world of professional translation, particularly in the realm of technical drawings.

The Challenge: Translating AutoCAD Drawings for International Collaboration

The company had created an extensive collection of nearly 400 pipe support drawings using AutoCAD. These technical drawings are crucial for the successful execution of their supply contract in Uzbekistan. However, there’s a significant barrier – the language. All these drawings are in English and need to be translated into Russian, the language of their Uzbek partners. This translation isn’t just about words; it’s about ensuring that every detail in the drawings is accurately conveyed in a language unfamiliar to the original drafters.

Streamlining the Process: Focusing on Material Lists

The company noted that certain elements of the drawings might not require translation. Moreover, they proposed removing repetitive descriptions from the drawings, translating only those in the material list. This approach not only streamlines the translation process and cuts costs, but also focuses on the most critical aspects of the drawings – the material specifications.

The Quest for Professional Translation Services

Given the technical nature and volume of the work, the company was looking for a professional translation service that can handle such a specialized task. The ideal service provider would not only offer accuracy and reliability in translating technical terms but also be efficient and cost-effective.

The Vital Role of Translation in Global Manufacturing

This scenario perfectly illustrates the pivotal role professional translation services play in global manufacturing and construction industries. Accurate technical translation service is not just about language; it’s about ensuring that every nut, bolt, and specification is understood universally. It’s about building bridges – both figuratively and literally – across countries and cultures. As our world grows more interconnected, the demand for such specialized translation services will only increase, making them an indispensable part of global business and collaboration.

Streamlining Technical Drawing Translation with Adobe Illustrator

One of the challenges in such a project is how to access the drawings which are in AutoCAD DWG file format. An AutoCAD license can be costly, and in the range of several hundred dollars a month. Furthermore, it is not an easy tool to use as it is designed for the use of engineers and architects. As a result, most translation companies do not license this software.

The good news is that Adobe Illustrator, renowned for its versatility and precision, emerges as a powerful solution for editing of DWG files. Illustrator is also a much more affordable tool that AutoCAD, with monthly license costs of around $20 for a single user. Here, we delve into how Adobe Illustrator can be employed to efficiently translate, edit, and save technical drawings, specifically in DWG format, a common format used in AutoCAD.

Step 1: Importing DWG Files into Illustrator

The journey begins with importing the DWG file into Adobe Illustrator. This process is straightforward – you simply open Illustrator and select ‘File’ > ‘Open’, and then choose your DWG file. Illustrator is adept at handling this format, ensuring that the lines, shapes, and text in your technical drawing are accurately represented.

Step 2: Navigating and Understanding the Drawing

Once the file is open, you’ll find that Illustrator preserves the layers and structure of the DWG file, making it easier to navigate through various components of the drawing. This feature is particularly useful when dealing with complex drawings that have multiple layers and intricate details.

Step 3: Translation and Text Editing

The core task at hand is the translation of text within the drawing. Illustrator’s text editing tools are intuitive and user-friendly. You can easily select text elements and replace them with their translations. For consistency and efficiency in cases like our example where multiple drawings have similar text elements, you can create text styles that can be applied across all your documents.

Step 4: Modifying and Updating Drawings

In addition to text translation, you might need to modify or update certain elements in the drawing. Illustrator’s comprehensive set of drawing tools allows you to edit shapes, adjust lines, and even add new elements with precision, ensuring that the integrity and accuracy of the technical drawing are maintained.

Step 5: Saving in DWG Format

After making all the necessary translations and edits, the final step is to save the document back in DWG format. Adobe Illustrator allows you to export your document as a DWG file, ensuring compatibility when it’s opened again in AutoCAD or any other application that supports the DWG format. Go to ‘File’ > ‘Export’ and select ‘DWG’ as the format. You also have the option to choose the version of DWG that best suits your requirements.

Conclusion: Enhancing Efficiency in Technical Drawing Management

Adobe Illustrator proves to be an invaluable asset in managing and translating technical drawings. By leveraging its capabilities, professionals can ensure seamless integration and communication across different platforms and languages. This process not only saves time but also enhances accuracy, making it an essential workflow in the world of technical design and documentation.


You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)