Home Education & Learning The Intricacies of Professional Translation: A Guide to Do’s and Don’ts

The Intricacies of Professional Translation: A Guide to Do’s and Don’ts

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The process of converting text from one language to another is not an easy task as often perceived by people. A great understanding of the language is inevitable. Also, the understanding of the culture, experience, and excellent writing skills are also needed to deliver the translation that is important to serve its purpose.

A good and quality translation should be worked on with the motive of doing great.

With this in mind, the translation process has three basic levels.

  • TO: translation only  
  • TE: Translation and editing
  • TEP: Translation, editing, and proofreading

Translation only is about the translation and reviewing as one step. It further includes editing. This step asks for checking the consistency and it deals with the correction of the cultural insights. It also verifies the language rules that a country or city could have.

The translation, editing, and proofreading is a third-level process and it is complete. This is a three-step process and it reduces the chance of mistakes. Furthermore, it also asks to proofread the content and check grammar, punctuation, and spelling. A professional translation company ensures that the translation that they deliver is accurate with the right amount of editing and proofreading.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts of the translation that translators should practice.

Using the right terminology

While translating the technical and medical context the terminology is of extreme importance. The right usage and placement of the terminology can elevate the quality of professional healthcare translation services. The law-related and technical content is also important to translate as any error or mistake in the content can cause liability for the direct effectors.

Taking certain measures can help to mitigate the risk of using the wrong terminology:

  • Identifying the target market
  • Using linguists with relevant qualifications and with proven experience in translation jobs
  • Hiring translators who have industry-based knowledge

Don’t spare the dialects  

A language is not a collection of a few words. It is a whole culture, a set of norms and traditions, and customs. A language comes with multiple dialects and scenarios. The translation agencies should make sure that while translating the content they don’t overlook or ignore the importance of the dialects. There are many pieces of evidence that prove that people get and identify their language only when they get their dialects. However, translators often forget this and this has come up as the most frequent error done by translators. Whenever translation companies and their translators are addressing a particular audience, it is significant to be mindful of the importance of the dialects.

The translators need to understand how a single language is not spoken and written in a similar manner in two different countries. French translation, for instance, could be different if the target audience is in France and it has to be different for the francophone community settled in Canada.

Adopting different dialects could be easy in these ways:

  • Defining the target demographic
  • Using native linguists and speakers
  • Incorporating local cultural references in order to appeal to the new target audience

Don’t forget to convert the measurements

The translation of the text often has to deal with the text type, its format, and additional requirements too. The requirements for medical translation services work with could be different from that for the translation of legal content. Likewise, if you want to engage your readers, you should ensure that you convert the measurements right away. Translation jobs get affected greatly by the battle of metric vs imperial systems. These units talk about the size, mass, and weight with the volume length, distance, and area. So, it is expected to be there in the text that talks about the diverse industries. Thus, it is a great practice of translation that you should always look for these units and translate these as per the practices which are carried out in the target audience.

Here are a few tips that can help with the conversion of the measurements properly

  • Knowing about the target audience and the conversion tool that they use for the target audience
  • Paying attention to the delivery of the content with the right symbols and punctuation
  • Incorporating both systems for the broader audience

Reviewing and analysing the original document

This should be the practice of all translators. Reviewing the original file can save you from the hassle of the mistakes and errors in your target file. Proofreading is vital to translate and write the content. The general perception about proofreading the content stays with the target file though it is extremely crucial to go through the source file as well. As many times there are mistakes on the source file which get translated to the target file too and it further leads to complications. Also, the errors may vary with the languages as well. The issues that are common in the English language could be different and not so important in the Polish language, however, seeking Polish translation services could be the ultimate solution to avoid mistakes and errors.

Hence, mistakes in spelling, grammar, vocabulary, inconsistencies, and misconceptions can affect the work of linguists:

  • Scanning and solving the mistakes in the source language
  • Giving time to the translator to proofread the original document
  • Staying available to answer and clarify the information


The translation is a hectic process and works with a regular pattern. While executing the process of translation, it is inevitable to follow certain practices and avoid the bad ones. The dos and don’ts are important to consider during translation to work on the content accurately. The quality of the translation cannot be compromised.

Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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