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Top tips for getting your translation right
01.06.17

Whether you’ve recently made the decision to expand your business abroad, or you simply want to make your business a multilingual one, there’s one challenge you’ll need to consider from the offset – how can you ensure you get your translation right?

Mistakes are costly, and they can take a very long time, not to mention money and resources, to iron out once made. So, to help you avoid those translation mistakes so many have made before, we’ve set out our top tips for getting your translation right, first time.

Use a native speaker

Native speakers generally have a natural and deeper understanding of today’s modern language, along with a greater feel for subtle nuance and stylistic differences, beyond what is traditionally taught in the classroom. Where non-natives will generally have to stop, think and consider each time they translate subtleties, native speakers are naturally able to adjust to using different terms depending on the context and audience.

They are also your best bet for localisation needed when targeting a specific market, where aspects such as culture, history and trends must to be considered and adjusted to. Native speakers can help you ensure your business communications are consistent, and the right messaging achieved, whatever your location and whatever language you are using.

Transcreate as well as translate

Transcreation refers to the process of both “translating” and “recreating” content into a new language, while at the same time ensuring it remains appropriate to the original context.

Transcreation, in particular, requires a trust and reliance in your translator to amend, alter and contribute to text in order to make it work in a new language. It’s common in marketing where humour, straplines and slang carry more weight, and it’s often the case that a translator might need to re-write sentences or sections of text to achieve the same result.

For instance, a humourous headline on a website might need to be completely rewritten in order to achieve the same humour and tone in another language. It’s an essential way of getting your translation right, not simply word for word, but with that all-important context considered too.

Find the right translator

Simply hiring a professional translator to do the job won’t always be enough – you need to consider someone that has the relevant experience, specialisation, skills and background knowledge to carry out your requirements.

Take the time to research the right translator for you and, where needed, seek professional advice. A language service will be able to give you guidance on what linguistic abilities your particular project requires, as well as being able to put you in contact with translators that have the appropriate skills and knowledge.

Find a translator that understands your business, your company values and your tone of voice, and you’ll be best placed to successfully operate at a multilingual level while avoiding costly translation mistakes.

If you need help in choosing the best translator for your next project, or would like further advice and information, just get in touch with the team here at Sally Walker Language Services – we’d be more than happy to talk through your requirements with you.