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Go global, think local. 5 ways to avoid a translation fiasco

You might have heard of the phrase “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” This holds true for a translated text. Translators are competent professionals, but they can only do so much if the source material is peppered with inaccuracies and grammatical mistakes, says Leverate’s Adinah Brown

From street signs to store labels, you’ll find translation errors in all sorts of media. Some are funny or downright indecipherable, while others are simply offensive.

It’s not just your everyday vendor or sign maker that makes these language blunders, however, even big companies can mistranslate text, and the mistake could come with serious consequences.

Translation errors have the potential to misguide customers and undermine the business’s credibility. So, it is important to ensure the accuracy of your company’s translated materials. Here are a few ways you could avoid a translation fiasco.

Avoid Using Machine Translators on Official Documents

Free online translation tools are useful in some ways, like when you’re translating a foreign customer’s comment on your social media page. They provide a gist of the statement, which is often enough to craft a professional reply. These tools, however, should not be used to translate official documents. Doing so risks inaccuracies and misunderstandings.

A machine may not know the nuances that could make a world of difference in a text. You have to spend a lot of time editing the work, as it could be filled with factual and grammatical errors.

Hire Competent Translators

It’s not enough to hire a human translator, though. Always go for experienced professionals who provide quality content writing services; they can ensure the accuracy of the text. A good translator is especially critical in the financial trading industry, so choose one who is familiar with investment jargon. Only through their industry expertise will the translator be able to carry across any informational insight.

Moreover, find a translator who is not only fluent in the language but well-versed in the culture of the audience. He or she will know how to use local idioms and slang, handle culturally sensitive topics, and reference nuances in the local culture.

Provide Good, Comprehensive Source Material

You might have heard of the phrase “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” This holds true for a translated text. Translators are competent professionals, but they can only do so much if the source material is peppered with inaccuracies and grammatical mistakes (which, though seemingly harmless, might confuse the translator and drastically affect the quality of their output).

The translators would have to spend time correcting these mistakes or, worse, they might pass the error on to the translated text. So, provide comprehensive source materials that have been proofread by an industry expert.

Provide other useful information, as well, such as the appropriate tone and the material’s destination. Even if the text is accurate, the wrong tone might elicit the wrong response from the audience. Translators should also know where the text is going to be published; after all, different platforms require different writing styles.

Establish a Translation Memory

When you’re constantly producing translated content, it’s practical to keep a translation memory. It is a database of common terms, phrases, and sentences and their corresponding translations. This helps translators work more efficiently and ensures consistency in future projects.

Don’t Skip the Editing Phase

Although your translators are competent, it is still ideal to have an extra set of eyes to check the final content. There might be words or phrases that, although accurately translated, are used incorrectly. It’s preferable if the editor is both a native speaker and an industry expert. This way, you ensure the quality of the final version of the content.

Treat translation as an investment; it’s easier to prevent a fiasco than to quell one.

Source: financefeeds.com


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