For the very best translations, a good professional that has perfect command of both languages isn’t quite enough. Finding the right translator is also kind of like match-making. You’ve got the find the translator that’s best suited to the subject matter. You’re looking for the text’s perfect partner.
Technical, legal or medical documents. Texts related to marketing, mechanics, business, the world of food, finance, travel, photography, sport, tourism, etc… There’s no limit to the number of subjects that texts that need translating to another language can deal with. That’s why it’s important to be able to rely on professionals specialised in a wide variety of fields that are also linguists and write in their mother tongue. That way you can be sure that they’ll understand the text well and, then, ‘transform’ the text into their native language, the end result being true to the original.
In the past, we’ve written about the importance of selling in your client’s language. 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.
Clients in certain countries, like Japan, tend to read the instructions in manuals that they receive from cover to cover. If they find a translation error, they tend to be more critical than clients in other countries would be, meaning that the introduction of the product 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 see. Any complaint made anywhere in the world could reach the opposite corner of the map in a matter of hours. If you want to see some examples of epic mistranslations, you’ll find them here.
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.
Review 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.
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.