Dos and Don’ts of translating a text into a different language [Guest Post]

Best practices in translation
Text translation – how to get it right

[Guest post]

So you’re finally choosing to embark on a worldly skill. Writing in a foreign language is no easy feat — that’s for sure. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. However, if you find yourself having a difficult time, then it’s your best option to outsource or seek help from qualified professionals around you.   

Here are some dos and don’ts on how to go about translating text into a different language:  

Major Do: Hire A Professional

This is the best and will always be the first choice for people who need translation services. However, if you’re on a tight budget, the ideal choice for you is to hire a freelance professional translator. They have their own language expertise, so make sure to interview them firsthand regarding their experience. Don’t forget to ask for samples from them to see how they work and if their output meets your standard. 

If you can afford to pay more, you may opt to hire global translation companies then. This is because they may be more reliable and stable. Unlike freelancers, you can easily track them down if there are problems with their translation services. The only downside to this, however, is their expensive fees. 

Keep in mind that most professional translation agencies have a minimum fee. For instance, some require you to at least have 500 words so you can get their services. If you go below this number, you still have to pay the amount for the 500 words. 

Regardless of the extra funds you need to shell out, remember that the most reliable translations come from professional language service providers. This is true, especially if you need help with website translation, legal translation or other types of translations that can only be done by a certified professional. So, the investment would be worth it. 

Slight Don’t: Use Translation Tools

You could consider investing in a high-quality translation software or application that would give you the best results there is to give. This would ensure that you are always on-the-go for work, so you’d never miss out on opportunities.

Although, tread with caution as these apps can still give you slightly inaccurate results that can jeopardize your reputation and connections because of a weirdly-worded message. In the end, it is always better to rely on professionals, whether a freelance translator or a language service provider, to ensure a correct and accurate translation.

Major Don’t: Use Free Translation Tools 

For quick, informal searches like figuring out what your friend or what your subtitle-lacking Korean movie character just said, sure, you could use free translation tools. 

But if you’re on the job to translate, avoid these free translation tools at all costs because you’re bound to getting majorly inaccurate results. This is because these translation tools usually ignore the tone of voice and are based on the most common, word-for-word translations out there.

If you make the mistake of relying on generic translations, you may also run the risk of confusing synonyms and overlooking cultural sensitivities.

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