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Top Tips for Translating Educational Materials

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Educational materials are important sources of knowledge that form the basis of education. While the word might evoke books and textbooks, modern educational materials also include interactive materials and other modern technologies. In fact, it has been suggested that children can still learn comparatively well with these modern interactive educational materials, making sure that children can still learn languages well even if they are not learning face-to-face with their teachers. 

Translating educational materials can be a rather daunting task due to the complexity involved. Educational materials will have to be consistent and easy to understand, as the people who read them are expected not to be experts in their field. Here are some top tips to help you translate educational materials with ease, provided by professional translators who work in a reputable translation service agency.

Pay extra attention to the tone and style of the material

Each educational material is aimed at a certain target audience, and the writer will employ specialised writing styles and tones that match this target audience. Even when the text is translated into another language, the tone and the writing style of the educational material should still be maintained for consistency’s sake. For example, if the material is designed for children, the tone of the text will have to be cheery and fun without being too childish. The translator will have to follow the same style and tone when they translate the material. 

If you are translating an instructional manual for technical engineers, the style and the tone should be a bit more formal and academic. Naturally, you should also try to convey the same style and tone in the output text as well. One of the best ways to improve your stylistic translation is to pay for an essay online and get an essay from a writer in your target language. Then, you will have a good point of reference that should allow you to understand the different tones and styles of writing in your target language.

Consistency is a key element 

Educational materials often belong to a series or a group of different texts that cover the same broad subject. All of these texts are intrinsically related to one another, so it is extremely important to keep a consistent termbase that is not arbitrarily changed from time to time. Terminologies should be translated with consistency, and that applies to the tone of the text as well. This will require some bits of communication between translators working on a large project, so the project coordinator will have to be savvy with communication. 

Be careful when translating actions and non-verbal elements

This is especially critical when you are translating interactive learning materials such as games and other forms of materials. Actions are quite challenging elements, as there are some actions that do not have complete equivalences in the target language. Translators will have to be creative and use other terms to describe the same actions within the same narrow strings. For non-verbal elements such as dates, street names, figures and numbers, etc., you will need a good understanding of the target culture in order to find the correct translation formats for them. 

Transcreate cultural references 

Cultural references are another big issue for most translators, as there are some references that will not make sense in the target language. A learning material could start with a really cool motto that will get lost in translation, which is a huge shame. You could try to find another motto that expresses the same idea in the target culture. It does not have to be a completely accurate translation, but if it does express the same idea, it would still be acceptable. 

For many translators, educational materials present a lot of different challenges that will test your translation skills. The key point you have to remember is to pay attention to the minor cultural quirks such as the date format, currencies, and cultural references. These are the elements that might cause the most difficulties. If you find yourself at wit’s end, don’t worry. It is always ok to ask for professional help, and professional translation service providers are always out there who would be glad to help. You could ask for their services, and they will help you to translate the materials with ease.

Eric Wyatt is a travel freelance writer who visited many countries and continents on the globe. Languages and foreign cultures are his passion, that is why he dedicates his time and effort to featuring those topics in his articles.

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