Watch for These Silly Translation Mistakes

We can't forget that translators are humans too, so it shouldn’t surprise you that even the most experienced and professional translators slip up sometimes. To become a translator means to take on a very technical job, demanding high skill and precision. Every step from taking an area-specific translation course to obtaining that official translator certification, is crucial to the job. But even after all that, translation is still a slippery slope. Here are some common translation mistakes to avoid.

Watch Out for Subtleties!

Sure as an American you can navigate the UK with few problems, but in the world of translation, those subtleties matter. Larger online retailers, for example, have to tailor the shopping experience to worldwide clientele, assigning whole departments to reviewing product descriptions solely for their market in the U.K. Sure speaking is no problem, but in reading differences like spelling and phrases can strike easily with the reader--think “favourite vs. favorite,” or everyday descriptions like “to the reverse” vs. “at the back.” The goal of translation is familiarity and ease, so every detail counts. Regional differences are strongly tied to any language, so be sure to watch out for slang that doesn’t fly so “nicely” elsewhere.

Going Overboard

While translation requires total grasp of the complexities of a language, remember that there’s always a time and a place. Sometimes translators are tempted to go over the top in their diligence: not always appreciated when the  document translated is overly-flowered with fancy, complicated jargon. What’s the use for business circuit level Japanese in a public announcement document for a department store? An exaggeration, yes, but it is imperative to always work with the clients needs in mind. This is where training comes in, with courses as varied as a medical translation course online, or a legal translation course online, you can acquire the specialized language and tone fit to your field. Here at Language Connections, our translation courses online can help you become a certified translator able to reliably tackle issues like these.  

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Erica Macri

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