For the very best translation, a professional that has a perfect command of both languages isn’t quite enough. Finding the right translator is kind of like matchmaking. You’ve got to find the translator that’s best suited to the subject matter. You’re looking for the text’s perfect partner.
There are lots of factors involved in achieving a text that’s clear, precise and free of both spelling and grammar errors. The right choice of translator will also mean the text flows and is pleasant to read, which will spark readers’ interest. Capturing the reader’s interest is fundamental, as boring, inaccessible texts mean that the reader only skims a few lines and doesn’t even read most of it. The translation of a text should have the same impact as the original. If you want your translation to appeal to your client, you need to hire a professional translation agency.
The importance of specialisation
Technical, legal or medical documents. Texts related to marketing, mechanics, business, the world of food, finance, travel, photography, sport, tourism, and other specialisms, all require accurate translations of specific terms, phrases and expressions. In some cases, it’s better to keep a term in the original language to have a greater impact on the reader. For example, if an English text is being translated into Spanish, words like marketing, cloud, entrepreneurs, outfit, and vintage all tend to be kept in English, even though there’s an exact translation in Spanish. That’s because these terms give texts a more technical, professional style, which only specialists will be able to reflect in their translation and creation of content.
There’s no limit to the number of subjects that texts that need translating to another language can address. That’s why it’s important to be able to rely on translators specialised in a wide variety of fields that are also linguists that write in their mother tongue. That way we can be sure that they’ll understand the text well and then translate it into another language, the end result being true to the original.
In a previous article, we talked about the importance of selling in your client’s language. However, it’s important to understand that texts that are geared towards making sales to a foreign market should, at all costs, avoid errors that make them difficult to understand, make a bad impression or might be offensive to a foreign culture. A linguistic error on a website, for example, can make a bad impression on clients and even lead to the loss of credibility and sales. Opting for translation and content creation services is the best way of achieving positive results when expanding into other markets.
Clients in certain countries, like Japan, tend to read the instructions in manuals that they receive from cover to cover. It is a very demanding market. If they find a translation error, they’re usually more critical than clients in other countries would be, meaning that the introduction of the product into the market might be delayed until all the texts in the manuals are entirely accurate.
In any case, in such a globalised world, it’s absolutely vital to take great care over everything that clients will receive. Any doubts expressed or complaints made anywhere in the world could reach the other side of the world in a matter of hours. With social media and content going viral, an error in something you publish could spread all over the world in seconds. If you want to see some examples of epic mistranslations, you’ll find them here.
Proofreading: a vital part of the equation
Even if you work with competent professionals that translate and proofread, it’s vital that a second person is part of the equation: a reviewer or editor. The reviewer also has to be an expert in the subject matter that the text deals with, as well as being a good linguist. They have to check that the translated text is faithful to the original and flows in the target language. It should sound natural. This service is only provided by a professional translation company that will look to provide you with the best possible quality when translating your content.
At LocalizationLab, we’ve adopted the model of working with two linguists per translation to ensure that we deliver quality texts that are true to the originals, but don’t sound like translations.
Reviewing is also vital in cases in which the final format of the translation isn’t what the public will see, as a graphic designer or web designer will work their magic on it first. In these cases, it’s important to make sure that no word is cut off, no accents are missing and, if there are accents, that they’re in the correct format and facing the right way, etc. These are small details that can make a bad impression on the people that see them. Lots of designers and programmers focus on creating something beautiful but are often unfamiliar with or don’t pay much attention to translation errors in content provided by the client. That’s why it’s vital to send designers or developers error-free translations that won’t have a negative impact on your brand’s image.
At LocalizationLab we offer copywriting and reviewing services, both of the original document which needs translating, and any content that’s already been translated. In a survey of our clients in 2018, the majority confirmed that they would prefer to review their texts before sending them for translation.
Both jobs, translation, and revision, have to be done with the utmost care and in good time. That’s why it’s so important to work as a team. We all know that four eyes are better than two. Here, you can see the process that we follow for all of our projects, which, for us, is vital for assuring the quality of our translations.
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