Orlando Chiarello is the Product Support Manager of Secondo Mona, an Italian aerospace equipment manufacturer, and the Chairman of the ASD Simplified Technical English Maintenance Group (STEMG), a working group formed to develop the Association of European Aircraft and Component Manufacturers (AECMA) Simplified English, to help the users of English-language documentation in the aerospace sector understand what they read, particularly in multinational programs.
Orlando (together with Irene Koukia) will be offering a session on Technical writing and translation in STE at the upcoming ProZ.com 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy, that will take place on June 28th and 29th.
How did you get started in translation?
I work for an aerospace company and within its organization I have been a technical translator for almost ten years. My task was in fact to translate maintenance manuals of aerospace components from English into Italian. This was to support the internal repair and overhaul departments, and simplify the understanding of the procedures for non-English speaking operators. In that period, I actually translated more than 600 different manuals having lengths varying from just a few pages to a maximum of 500 pages. Later, my task changed from technical translator to technical writer, meaning writing maintenance manuals myself from scratch. It was in that phase that I started getting involved in the AECMA Simplified English project. My current tasks now are mainly concentrated to product support which concept consists of a series of logistic elements (for example, technical customer services, spare parts, maintainability, facilities planning, customer training, etc.) in which technical manuals are always included and have an important role.
What was the most important obstacle for you to overcome in building your career as a language professional?
Language played a key role in my professional career. I cannot define myself as a language professional, but I am constantly linked to language issues in my everyday work. Having a mechanical engineering background, I was in some ways “forced” into the language learning process. I attended very intensive courses in the UK, not only dealing with language, but also in the field of logistic and product support, applied to international projects. The experience accumulated in participating in the Simplified Technical English group for so many years, as well as attending international meetings related to the everyday work have dramatically contributed in building my career.
What is the greatest issue facing technical translators?
As I said previously, I translated from English into Italian and my activities as a translator were confined to technical texts in a single company specific context. This has helped me a lot to improve the quality of my translations because technical translation (and technical writing in general) is not very easy if a translator does not have a minimum of technical background or knowledge of the matter.
What is your prediction for the future of human translation?
As another colleague said when answering the same question, human translation is something that will always be required. Machine translation or authoring tools can dramatically help the process and so very welcomed. However, there is nothing which can think in our place or replace the human abilities and skills.
You will be presenting in the upcoming ProZ.com international conference in Pisa on the topic of “Technical writing and translation in STE: preparing documentation in a controlled language”. What can conference attendees expect to learn or know from your presentation?
My presentation is about a controlled language, the Simplified Technical English, a standard created some years ago within the aerospace industry to improve technical communication. Today, the success of Simplified Technical English is such that it is now rapidly moving outside its intended domain of aerospace. Today, there is a worldwide growing interest towards Simplified Technical, including the one of the Academic world and language professionals. .The primary target of presenting at the ProZ.com international conference is to make the attendees aware of the existence of this consolidated standard and explore if its accuracy and principles can help the translation process in some ways.
ProZ.com international conference in Pisa, Italy
Join Orlando and other language professionals on June 28-29 in Pisa, Italy, for the annual ProZ.com 2014 international conference.