February 15

How to Avoid Common Translation Mistakes

How to Avoid Common Translation Mistakes


If you have regular translation requirements, you will realise that good translations are hard to come by. Apart from inconsistent translation quality, you may have also been receiving some less-than-optimal services.

Translation of any type of document is a complex, technical task that demands expertise, precision and of course, absolute command of both source and target language. It is therefore inevitable that some translation jobs will contain errors, or will simply not be up to the standard you should expect.

A good translation job that is free from errors is especially important when, for instance, it is for an official submission to government, or to sell your services to thousands of potential foreign customers.

Let us outline some of the problems that can arise in translation, and what you as a client can do to prevent them from occurring.

Grammar, spelling and punctuation errors

Even a professional, experienced translator can occasionally make small errors. If your reviewer notices errors, it may be because the translation has not gone through the crucial steps of proofreading and editing by a qualified person other than the translator. The key to avoiding even minor grammatical errors is by appointing a certified translation company with a trusted translation process, and a track record of ensuring all necessary phases are undertaken.

Incorrect or inconsistent terminology

The medical and legal industries are among those that often require very specific terminology to be translated. There are ways to avoid disappointment with the translation of certain terms. Translators typically specialise – some may focus on translating literary works, others on film scripts or medical transcripts. Your key initial priority should be to ensure a translator with specialised knowledge of the industry terminology is engaged. Following the engagement of a specialised translator, it can be useful to create a glossary of terminology to guide your translator on the way you would like certain words to be translated.

Translation that is not appropriate for your target market

A good translation service provider will always verify your target market, for instance by clearly establishing in which country the translation will be used. This is especially important with languages such as Chinese, which varies across a number of countries. Establishing the target audience is also important to ensure the language used is culturally appropriate. Missing this step may lead to a translation with vocabulary and phrases that confuse or offend your target audience.

A good translation service provider will take the necessary steps to ensure you are 100 per cent satisfied with the final translation. ISO17100 certified, Lingua Technologies International takes the concerns of our clients very seriously, providing free-of-charge revisions of any translation job. If you happen to face any issues with a translation from another provider, we will also be happy to assist you.

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ISO 17100: A Global Standard for Certified Translation Companies

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