The chemical industry is strictly regulated. This is understandable in light of the huge quantity of consumer and professional products that are created today, which involve chemical processes in their manufacture. Professional translation is especially important for any company operating in the chemical industry, as they will need to translate a host of highly sensitive documents into other languages.
The chemical industry is a good example of international cooperation between the public and private sectors. Our daily lives are full of items produced or treated in chemical plants using different processes. Examples include hydrocarbons, construction materials and components, plastics and foodstuffs.
Companies involved in making or processing these and other products end up creating a huge market in which thousands of jobs are created and involve government organisations. This means huge amounts of documentation are generated, almost always aimed at public and private companies across different countries.
Texts that are likely to need translating in the chemical industry include patents, which contain innovative treatments or production processes. There is also a huge industry around oil refining, extracted and processed at plants around the world. This industry highlights the synergy between governments and engineering companies and involves the creation of a wide range of documents that need to be translated.
Other examples of documents that are specific to the chemical industry and often require translation into other languages include: toxicology reports, deviation reports, material safety data sheets, exposure scenarios and summaries of product features.
A feature of chemistry is that it uses very specific vocabulary, as well as a wide variety of fields of application. The documentation generated in this discipline may encompass the processing of crude oil derivatives, mining processes, food manufacturing, and process and quality controls. It is easy therefore to see how many different disciplines might be involved in one single document.
A translator or agency handling chemical translation projects needs to know not only the particularities of each field of application, but must also be familiar with the format of the documents. Further, they need to understand the purpose and role of the document in order to adapt expressions within it to the requirements of the target audience.
Given the requirements of chemical translations, the recommended translator profile is an international professional who is expert in the field - that is, a translator working with an agency such as sanscrit.