Silicon Valley is not only the hub of technology for the US; it is an international source of up-to-the-nanosecond technological advancement. This small section of northern California has become the world’s hub for high-tech innovation.

The name is a play on words. Coined in the 1970s and coming into general use in the ‘80s, the term refers to the high concentration of companies involved in producing semi-conductors in the Santa Clara Valley. Most commercial semi-conductors are made using silicon.

The Silicon Valley name grew to encompass all the companies involved in computer technology, which was advancing rapidly at the time. For a very long time, anything new, novel or revolutionary seemed to come from Silicon Valley. It was here that the microprocessor and microcomputer were developed, where the dotcom industry expanded, burst and was reborn, and it is where many of our current and future technological advancements are taking shape. The biotechnology, networking, and electronics fields are all seeing rapid developments in Silicon Valley.

The area is a magnet for computer software companies and hardware manufacturers as well as the venture capitalists that fund the innovations. This single economic center accounts for about a third of all venture capital investment in the US. Many other countries are emulating this model, attempting to create their own version of Silicon Valley.

One might think that technology transcends all international barriers, but sadly it does not. While innovation speaks for itself, it does not speak in all languages. There is a deep need to translate “tech-speak” first into a more commonly used language and then into foreign tongues.

One might think that technology transcends all international barriers, but sadly it does not. While innovation speaks for itself, it does not speak in all languages. There is a deep need to translate “tech-speak” first into a more commonly used language and then into foreign tongues.

This need for reliable translation is a two-way street. Silicon Valley start-ups, tech corporations and investors need to both be understood in an international forum as well as be able to understand their counterparts outside the US.

Translating technological information presents a unique challenge. The information is, by its nature, complex. Not every translator can handle turning the complicated terms and ideas of a high-tech document into readable text. It is difficult to communicate some of these ideas into your own first language, much less a second or third!

In these cases, it is important to find a translator or translation services company that can serve this particular need. Silicon Valley is no place for a machine translation. The industry-specific jargon alone would stymie most free programs and even a solid machine translation app will have difficulty with this task. Add in the words and phrases with double meanings and the technical terms, and you have a serious issue.

This is a case where, ironically, the human touch is badly needed. A human translator with special skills should be contracted to make sure the information is presented with pin-point accuracy. Even a small mistranslation can create disaster in a technological text.

Silicon Valley has been redefining technology for more than four decades now and it is expected to continue to expand our use and understanding of technology for many more. It is critical that the ideas and developments created in this environment be communicated correctly to the rest of the world. Consistent and accurate translation will continue to be a need in the Silicon Valley community.

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