Technical French translation is a specific subset of the broader career of translation which specializes in, as you might have guessed, technical writing.
In order to succeed at technical translation, being a fluent speaker of both relevant languages, or even just a skilled, accomplished translator, is not sufficient. Translating technical writing requires a thorough understanding of the topic being translated. A technical translator must know all of the common technical terminology relevant to the topic at hand, and understand what they're reading beyond the mere definitions of words enough to be able to accurately interpret what is being said and represent it properly.
Technical translation is entirely different from, say, translating a novel from one language to another, which would call for skills like substituting wordplay from one language in another, understanding idioms and cultural references, and maintaining the lyric quality of a piece of writing. Technical writing is largely devoid of all of this but still, needs to be translated with an eye for detail and a flexible ability to interpret and convey meaning. You will likely never be called upon in the field of technical translation to come up with an equivalent pun in French as was used in English, but small errors in texts about engineering, math, or science, or that convey any directions or instructions, can render the entire piece meaningless from the point of the error onwards, the same as a factual error in the untranslated text might. A mistaken technical term is very difficult to identify from the context surrounding it, meaning that mistaken vocabulary is not an acceptable loss in technical translation, even in small amounts.
With technical French translation, a native French speaker will be best equipped to render translated text in a way that sounds natural to readers. However, this is not the most critical aspect of technical French translation by any means, as technical writing tends to be dry and sparse, with sentence structures needing to be unambiguous, but not necessarily natural-sounding as long as they're clear and intelligible. Clunky translation is actually acceptable as long as the meaning is not up to interpretation. To this end, a technical French translator must be adept at making themselves understood in French.
Since technical translation requires familiarity with the field relevant to the text being translated, different translators will often be best for different translations, depending on the industry in which the text needs the translator to have a working technical background.
One way to get a French translator that is qualified for a specific industry or specific content is to partner with a trusted translation agency. A good translation and localization agency should have a pre-tested database of professional and qualified linguist for any job, including technical French translation. Sometimes people are under the notion that partnering with a translation agency will cost more and be more inefficient, this is far from the truth. The right translation agency will utilize a translation management system that streamlines the translation process ultimately saving time and cost. inWhatLanguage has developed a translation management system, UNIFY, that saves clients more time and money when compared to any other agency. Learn more about UNIFY and how it can streamline, simplify, and deliver amazing savings with a combination of machine learning and localization professionals, such as technical French translators.