Translation is more than simply making a document readable in another language. Translation is a complex practice that requires the editing skills, the attention to detail, business savvy, and computer skills that not all individuals have. Here are some of the unknown complexities of translation services.
Words that do not translate
Not all English words have a match in other languages. In these cases, the translator must do his/her best to get as close to the meaning of the word as possible. It is important to find something that makes sense in the target language, but also has the same meaning as in the original language. If it is a word that does not make sense to translate, it may be best not to try and translate the word. It may be easiest to leave the word the same so you do not confuse the reader of the translated material.
Cultural sayings that do not translate
Slang, colloquialisms, and other location-specific terms do not always translate easily, nor should they. It’s often best to eliminate cultural sayings form the source document, and it’s up to the translator to identify these trouble areas. This is especially true in languages such as Chinese, German, Spanish, or French.
Technology that can’t be trusted
Software that promises to translate a document with ease cannot be trusted. Yes, the program probably does work to some degree. It might even get you close to what you need in a translated document. But will it get the translation 100% right? No way. Software does not understand the true meaning of the original document. It simply looks to translate individual words, not the meaning of the words and sentences.
Translator needs knowledge of more than language
Sure, a translator needs to be fluent in more than one language in order to translate, but there’s more to it than that. An in-depth knowledge of a location and an understanding of business practices in that location are also required. Without these two things, too many inaccuracies can be introduced into the target document.
If you hire the translator, how will you know the document is 100% correct? That is why it’s imperative to work with a company that provides reputable translation services. Always ask for references.
Trae Limbach – About the Author:
Trae Limbach is the Managing Director of Keylingo Translations, the business translation experts. The “key” to making the right choice for your business needs is to get educated. At Keylingo, we provide straight forward solutions, stellar customer services, the latest tools to facilitate the process and native-speaking linguists/subject matter experts. We also provide interpretation services, both in-person and over-the-phone. Click here to learn more about professional translations.