How To Best Use Machine Translation in Understanding Product Manuals?

More and more people have to understand product manuals that are written in foreign languages. Machine translation makes mistakes but can nevertheless help in understanding. But how to use machine translation best?

Usually product manuals are in PDF files and typically they contain various images and tables. In most cases the text refers to images to explain e.g. how a DVD player works. Consider this example.

Together with the text, this image quite well explains what to do. Now consider how well you would understand this if the language of the text was perfect but the image was missing. Obviously the text without image would not be understandable at all.

Next consider how well you would understand this if you had the image but the text contained small grammatical errors. The image plays major part in understanding the manual and therefore small translation errors usually are not essential. Probably you would still understand what to do despite minor errors in text.


In translating product manuals it’s essential to choose a PDF Translator software that preserves the images and tables. When the images are present, small translation errors don’t matter. That makes machine translation very useful in translating product manuals.