Translating Tips to Write in a Foreign Language [Guest post]

Writing in your second language
Tips to write in a foreign language

[Guest post]

By Thom Jackson

One of the most important aspects of successful translation between languages is commonly overlooked— writing.  Most translators observed in business meetings, television, and other media are speaking. But behind the scenes, translation of the languages involved must take place for a proper exchange of information. Writing in foreign language is also one of the best ways to learn the language, as the hand-brain connection makes it easier to memorize what you are reading and writing.

Let’s look at translating tips for writing in a foreign language, and help you have a better idea of where to get started and what to focus on.

Grasp the Conjugation and Common Stylistic Rules

Every language follows a set of guidelines — let’s call them laws — that form the basis of conjugation and sentences. Understanding these basics assists the writer in translating words more quickly.

First, begin with the alphabet as it provides the root to pronunciation and spelling. Next, you want to note common word endings.

In English, for example, words ending in -ing are very common in sentences describing action, while in Spanish, that ending can be written as -ando in some circumstances.

Learn to recognize the things you see repeatedly in the language, and you’ll be able to more quickly translate it on paper.

Consume Media on a Regular Basis

Media is a key element in helping you translate. Movies, audios and books can all be a big help. Reply back to interviews and speak out loud to friends, family and colleagues who can help in making corrections.

Listen closely and jot down new words to ensure that they are not lost. Also, make sure you have the subtitles on — this not only helps you quickly check anything that you didn’t grasp right away, but gets your brain used to the translation process and what it looks like in writing.

Read Books

Books are media too and are going to be of immense help as your translation skills progress.

Reading is a practice that improves writing tremendously as the writer is able to improve on their vocabulary and grammatical skills. There is no better way to get better at translating and at writing than to read consistently in the language.

Reading actual books provides you with the opportunity to see sentences developed and properly punctuated, along with the use of idioms and phrases and the stylistic techniques that can be used to enhance the creativity of the work.

By consistently reading material in the language, you are able to comprehend different styles of texts that they may be beneficial to whatever it is you are using the translating skills for.

If this is for business meetings, for example, reading up on business translation tips can help you grasp what is common practice and what is expected in each document or piece of work you submit.

Since a foreign language is used for communicative purposes, it is essential for writers to comprehend knowledge from a variety of books and other forms of media on how they can communicate effectively when writing.

Pursue Constructive Criticism

After you’ve grasped the basics of writing in the new language and are practicing them regularly, you’re going to want to pursue some constructive criticism and feedback.

Online language lessons can be a big help with this, as you’ll be paired with a native speaker of the language who can work one-on-one with you on exactly what it is you need to practice, and can provide live feedback.

In this case, that is translating the written language, in which case the tutor can work through documents with you to make sure your grammar, conjugation, and spelling are correct. The tutor can also note words, phrases, or subtleties that you may have missed to make your translated writing more complete and effective. And the best part is, you don’t have to tell anyone that you submit the writing that you had outside help — it’s our secret.