9 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Translation



Materials that require translation vary in nature, as you may need anything from a poem translated into Japanese to a complex engineering report localized for German partners. All these different translation requests will have one thing in common, and it is high quality and absence of meaning losses in the completed work.

Things to Avoid

Professional translators would not allow these errors to occur in localized texts, however, it will be beneficial for everybody, whether they are a client, a beginner translator, or a true professional, to revisit the major problems to be avoided.

  1. Omitting the text. It is a critical issue that may either alter the message or change the meaning of the text completely. No elements can be removed from the original text upon translation, and this is the type of issue you will never come across upon hiring the best language translation services. When the expert comes across content that can be offensive for a target audience, they reach the client to confirm the appropriate substitute rather than simply omit the problematic part.
  2. Rushing the process. It is never a good idea to speed up the translation without any objective reason, as the possibility of needless errors increases immensely. An expert should have sufficient time to review the text, look through dictionaries, and think over the solutions to find out words that express the original meaning in the best possible manner.
  3. Not considering the cultural context. There are multiple examples of companies that attempted to enter new markets without background review and realized that their brands became jokes or offenses. That is why the pros and cons of human translation should not be even considered in this case as only human experts can avoid this major issue.
  4. Sticking to word-by-word translation. Sometimes the intended meaning will be more affected by literal translation than reinventing the original text based on peculiarities of the target language.
  5. Avoiding quality assessment. A third-party quality review will contribute to the texts’ quality and preserve the effectiveness of the message. 
  6. This is a subjective error when the translator misunderstands the sentence due to different reasons or lack of knowledge.
  7. Inconsistent terminology. Every business has specific terms and concepts associated with its products. Inconsistent representation of terms may confuse the target audience as oftentimes synonyms have entirely different contexts that they should be used in. Developing unified glossaries is essential. 
  8. Punctuation and capitalization issues. A comma or another symbol in the wrong place may change the meaning of the entire sentence. The same goes with capitalization rules as in some languages they determine the part of speech, thus, the translation may become flawed if the rules are ignored.
  9. Proofreading issues. The translated text must be polished and free of any syntax, grammar, or spelling errors. While they should not change the meaning of the text, the reader will still be annoyed and the completed translation will be associated with the absence of professionalism and simple laziness. 


Wrapping It Up

Working on a translation is as much work as completing the original content. Successful translation of a fictional text contributes to its popularity and the absence of errors in a business document is essential for a company’s profits. Overall, translation is not the aspect that should be ignored in a modern global environment.

Author’s Bio

Melony Hart works in the industry focusing on translating non-fictional texts and she already developed a set of skills essential for the successful completion of any request. Applying those skills in practice was not enough for her and Melony decided to share tips with beginners using all means available to her. Melony likes to change the focus of her mind for more effective work and goes cycling in her free time.