Top Secrets to a Successful Translation

(Last Updated On: February 16, 2015)

Successful Translation

It is a common assumption that if you can speak or write more than one language, successful translation is not a difficult task. This is an off-base assumption, and does not take into consideration that there are many dialects within each language, as well as cultural differences requiring subtle shifts from verbatim translating.  Excellent translation skills are quite nuanced.

Typical tools of the trade include bilingual dictionaries, including those that cover slang, as well as a thesaurus and up to date encyclopedia. Because it can be critical to know local government practices and geography of the area in which translations will be utilized, you will also need to be accessed that information.

Whether you will be translating a website or a legal document, you will need to research that medium thoroughly to have a good feel for the standards currently used for that medium in the language to which you will be translating. It is not enough to be able to provide verbatim translation; you will need an understanding of the material itself in order to provide a successful translation. Subtle shifts in phrasing can change the entire meaning of a translation, especially when dealing with a turn of phrase that has specific meaning in one culture, but may mean something else entirely in another language.

Not having a proper understanding of these things can cause mistakes that are both an embarrassment to the company you are translating for, and can cost them money. One good way to double check, your work is to read it aloud. This helps ensure that your wording is smooth and flows properly. There should not be any errors in your successful translation. The translation must be accurate. Machine translations do not work.  Only humans can translate documents perfectly.

Make it a habit to go back and proofread your work at the end of every sentence and paragraph to make sure your work is cohesive. At the completion of the entire project, go through it again for a final round of proofing. This will help you determine if, when taken as a whole, your work makes sense. If the language you are translating to is not your first language, it can be helpful to have your work reviewed by someone for whom it is.  They will be able to clue you in to cultural faux pas and suggest changes in wording.

ISO – live translation is a translation firm with many years in the field.  They have a reputation for providing accurate, skillful, prompt and successful translations, and a dedication to excellence.