Being a translator is not an easy job. It is beautiful and rewarding most of the time, but as with most jobs, it’s not always a cake walk. Sometimes, a job might go wrong.
Granted: sometimes, a translator can make mistakes. To err is part of human nature. We are all professionals and can admit that perfection is a matter of trial and error. But some other times the technical aspects of a project might just not be on the translator’s side, or life gets ahead of oneself and doesn’t give him/her a break. And sometimes – just sometimes – the biggest irony of all happens: the translator is unable to understand the client’s language.
A translation is not like building a Lego castle: it is a flexible creature, subject to many variables, changes, different tastes and opinions. We, inwhatlanguage translators, are always undoubtedly going to try our best to fulfill your needs, but as qualified and experienced as we may be, we cannot follow guidelines that are not explicitly written down in the job description, or understand a text that’s placed out of context.
So here are some tips to make sure a translation job meets your exact expectations:
- 1. If you want only part of a particular text translated, please send the whole text and specify which part you want translated. If you want to translate a website, make sure to send the link. The translator needs to read the whole thing to know what’s going on.
- 2. If you want to have an instructions manual translated correctly, describe the product the manual is intended for and feel free to provide any additional details that might otherwise be overlooked.
- 3. If you have a brilliant trademark for a product that you don’t want ruined by a translated term that sounds terribly different, specify that you don’t want that word translated. If the translator suggests otherwise, consider the options. The translator is not gaining anything for doing it one way or the other – his/her advice is out of experience and goodwill.
- 4. English is a “short” language – as soon as you translate it into something else, the size of the text expands. If you want your translation to fit certain space limitations, please specify how many characters are allowed, and take into consideration that it might not be a literal translation anymore: poetic license is in order.
- 5. If there are terms that you know that even the most experienced translators are not going to understand, explain them beforehand.
- 6. Make the formatting of the original text easy to edit. A translator’s worst nightmare is a long to-be-translated text that cannot be copied and pasted.
- 7. And last but not least, have your text proofread. As good a writer as a translator can be, he/she is not 100% safe from typos and repetitions.
Translation is all about breaking communication barriers, but it is rendered meaningless if the communication between client and translator fails.
So… inwhatlanguage must we speak?
The language of cooperation!
Contact our experienced translators for a free translation quote or for more information about our proofreading and editing translation services.