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10 Expert Tips for Clear and Accurate Translations

10 Expert Tips for Clear and Accurate Translations

The world has never been closer to achieving its dream of becoming a global village than it is today. Translation and translation service companies that help reduce language barriers are at the heart of this dream. But even so, this industry is still young and faces many challenges. For instance, most translators still struggle to convey messages as intended across different languages, leading to many miscommunication cases.

Only a few experienced translation companies, like CPSL, can assure customers of quality and accuracySo, if you’re looking to create translations for your content without losing your readers to misinterpretations, we’ve compiled a few tips that could help you.

1. Keep it short and to the point

When it comes to translation, short and sweet is always the way to go.

You don’t need to add unnecessary words as long as you convey the main points of the content.

2. Observe the grammar rules of the language

Every language follows a specific set of rules and grammar syntax, which often differ for each language.

For example, in English, sentences follow a subject-verb-object format. In other languages, like Turkish or Korean, they follow a subject-object-verb format. In other languages, like Irish, Arabic, or Filipino, they follow a verb-subject-object format.

As you can see, a translator should always consider the syntax of a language before translation.

Otherwise, you might provide an accurate word translation, but ignoring that language’s grammar rules confuses your customers or readers.

3. Factual phrases or jokes in a language do not translate literally

Most writers often spice up their content using jokes to captivate their readers. The humor may be in wordplay, tongue twisters, or puns.

And while these language tools could be fun for one group of speakers, the meaning may completely change during translation to another language.

Sometimes, a joke in one language can be culturally inappropriate and offensive in another. Similarly, synonyms may make sense in one language but be non-existent in another.

So, your best shot at precise translations is to avoid all these fun ‘extras.’ Keep everything boring but brief and concise.

4. Localize your content for the culture

One of the first pieces of advice people receive when looking for certified translation services is to ensure that translators understand the target audience’s culture. While this is good advice, it is not enough to have a precise translation.

The translators also need to understand the different dialects and ‘slang’ versions of a language spoken in each region.

This way, the translations hit home for each reader or customer personally.

5. Go for the proper meaning over word-to-word translation

Words tend to have different meanings in each language. As such, translating a text word-for-word in a different language usually produces incomplete and very skewed translations.

To avoid this, you should focus on the meaning of the intended text. Regardless of the words you use during the translation, they shouldn’t lose the meanings of the original text.

6. Avoid figures of speech

Using figures of speech can sound cool when hanging out with friends, but it has no room for translation. Such phrases are usually translated literally into a different language, leading to awkward and embarrassing moments.

The same applies to colloquialisms, metaphors, and homonyms. Whenever possible, stick to clear language that everyone easily understands.

7. Use a more active voice 

Translating content in an active voice is usually much more accessible than in a passive voice and tends to produce more understandable content.

This is because not every language has a passive voice in its rules.

Additionally, unlike in English, the use of passive voices in most languages is very limited. Therefore, translating in a passive voice might create more confusion among your readers.

8. Use accurate dates and places

According to most experts, every translation’s clarity and quality lie in its source’s accuracy. So, in all your translations, ensure you use the right dates and date formats, locations, and names.

Being thorough in this process shows honor and respect to the translation target audience. It also helps in educating them without spreading false information.

9. Review your content often

Review your work before submitting your final translation drafts to see if it meets the translation requirements. You can create a checklist with key things that could help you determine whether your translation is accurate and conveys the intended message effectively.

10. Create a maintenance and updating plan for future content

As the world evolves, language also evolves, and different dialects and phrases are becoming more common. A word that meant something positive a year ago could mean very different things today.

As such, you need a maintenance plan to update your translation content with the present-day language changes.

Final Thoughts

Attaining a clear and accurate translation to avoid mistranslations isn’t hard. As you can see, you must follow the above-tested and proven tips to produce high-quality translations.

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