An accurate and effective translation can be a tricky task. It is not as simple as a word-for-word translation and this is one of the main reasons why machine translations struggle so much. There are other considerations that need to be made to ensure the task is completed successfully. eSense Translations share 8 top tips for how a successful translation can be achieved.
- Review the document
Revise the document as a whole before accepting a project or commencing a task. This is essential for the following points outlined below, so that you gain an understanding of the task required and certify that your skills are suited for it.
- Subject Specialism
Establish the subject matter of the document. A high-quality translation requires specialist knowledge of the subject or industry sector. A translator must not only understand the up-to-date terminology, but also have an excellent understanding of the industry itself.
For example, if it is a legal document, a translator must understand all the legal terminology and be able to translate it, so that it accurately retains the meaning in the target language. They should also have a full understanding of the legal systems in both countries to ensure that the reader has an accurate knowledge of what is being communicated to them.
- Target audience
Consider who you are writing for. This is important not only for localisation of the content, ensuring it suits the taste of the local culture, but the translator should also consider the style of writing i.e. is it formal for business use or relaxed for a B2C company?
- Native language
Translators should only translate into their native language. As above, this is to ensure that the resulting translation is appropriately phrased for the local market. As a native translator, you will have a full understanding of all the intricacies of the target language, for examples humour, idioms and expressions that are suitable.
Before commencing a translation, it is important to also have a full understanding of the original writer, their ethos and their objective. For example, when translating marketing copy for a company, marketing professionals will spend significant time creating content, it is therefore crucial that the same tone is replicated in the translated piece.
Always be sure you can meet your deadline given. Spend time before accepting the project reviewing the requirements. Ensure that you have enough time to complete the piece to a high standard. Never accept a project if this is in doubt. Clients rely on translations for their business to function effectively. As a translator, you play a vital role in this process and being late with delivery will have wider consequences to others, even having life-changing effects.
Ensure your translation is consistent throughout. There are a number of great translation software programs available that can assist with this task. However, if you do choose to complete the translation 100% manually, take time to check that you have translated all terms consistently.
- 2nd opinions
Every piece of work needs a second opinion, so ensuring all translations are proofread is a must. As a company, eSense Translations always engages with a second professional, who is equally qualified, to proofread translated work and provide feedback to the original translator. With two professionals working on each file, we can then ensure the final piece of work is of the highest standard.
By Lorna Paice