10 Translation Secret Tips to Boost Content Quality
The success of a website localization program depends upon two major factors viz. the quality of website content translation & the how effectively the architectural & developmental intricacies are optimized to match to the target geographical location.
Other forms of content translation for online and offline marketing include publishing content in multiple languages in social media platforms, translation of advertisement copies in multiple languages, translation of video content in the form of sub-titles, voice-overs, translation of technical literature like instruction and operating manuals, patents, user guides, installation manuals, E-learning materials, catalogues, software technologies and translation of business collaterals like flyers, brochures, white papers, case studies etc.
In all these forms of content translation the intricacies are the same and you need to know the 10 translation secret tips to boost the quality of the content as mentioned below:
- Abstain from making Literal Translation
Literal translation is the translation of text from one language to another “word-for-word”, rather than giving the sense of the original. For this reason, literal translations usually mis-translate idioms, phrases, closed compound words, complex and compound sentences, figures of speech, phrasal verbs, and many other aspects of a good writing. Often these kind of translations are annoying to the readers and sometimes they are funny being devoid of any meaning to the reader.
This is why you need to check a few translation projects worked upon by the translator in the past to ascertain whether the translator is capable enough to make a contextual translation keeping the meaning intact of the source content and the message flow is natural throughout the translation. Otherwise, when in doubt, always opt a professional translation company which provides translation services.
- Follow the Syntax of the target language
Syntax is the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language. The rules for syntax define the placing words and phrases in the right order. Often translators in the flow of translation skip the syntax rules that result in unintelligible sentences.
- Use of Lexical Semantics
Lexical Semantics is the study of the relationship between words and how we draw meaning from those words. People can absolutely interpret words differently and draw different meanings from them.
Lexical semantics deconstruct words and phrases within a line of text to understand the meaning in terms of context that may include a study of individual nouns, verbs, adjectives, prefixes, root words, suffixes, or longer phrases or idioms. While translating content the translator must do lexical semantics analysis to keep the message of the original content intact in the translation and avoid all kinds of ambiguities. The translation must convey the same meaning to one and all whoever reads it.
- Invent and use new terminologies
A translator must research as much as possible while translating technical, business, medical, scientific and other terminologies. Translating terminologies phonetically to save time and energy is regarded as the worst approach to translation. The translator must take even days to complete his research to be able to use the correct terminology in the target language.
In situations where it becomes impossible to find it the translator must use etymology of words in the target language to invent and coin new terms to represent the terminology in the source content and mention a note in the translation explaining in details the meaning of the term and why he invented the new term. This increases the authority of the translated content and a trendsetter for the future.
- Take appropriate precautions while using Passive Voice
While using passive voice wherever it becomes incumbent on the translator all precautions must be taken to keep it clear and concise in a well-constructed sentence. Also, wherever phrasal verbs are to be used he must take all precautions to keep the text clean of any ambiguity. If he is not 100% sure he must take advice and opinion of language & linguistic experts of target language.
- Abstain from using Humor
Humor is an essential part of writing. But it is very hard to translate a humor in one language to another language. In the translation mostly the element of humor is lost and the context looses its smooth transition. In order to keep the transition smooth and natural throughout the translation the translator must look for humor used in similar situations by prominent writers in the target language.
- Use of proper formats of dates& numbers of target market
The date and number formats are different in different languages. The translator must maintain the date and number formats in target language corresponding to that in the source content. Any mistake in dates and numbers may give rise to confusion thus challenging the authenticity of the content and the credibility of the publisher.
- Avoid logical& other errors
All kind of errors must be avoided in the translation be it grammatical or related to punctuation’s. But the major error in a translation would be a logical error.Logical errors are irrational messages resulting from faulty thinking. A common kind is contradictions – separate messages in a single text that each says the opposite of the other. Logical errors must be completed eliminated from the translated copy if any.
- Audit and use less jargons
The source content may contain a lot of jargons. Jargons are special words or expressions used by professional that are difficult for others to understand. Every language is a personality and the languages differ in their personalities. A practice that fits well in one language may be against the personality of another language. If the translator feels that the personality of the target language does not allow use of too many jargons he may reduce their number and use a descriptive language pattern to pass on the same message to the readers.
- Work better on unclear antecedents
An antecedent is a word, phrase, or clause referred to by another word, which is usually a pronoun like it, they, or who. Ambiguity may arise when there is more than one antecedent in a sentence and the same pattern has been used in the translation. Use of language may make the antecedents clear and obvious in one language whereas in another language it may be against the use of that language.
The translator must handle the use of the antecedents in a lucid way and may replace some of them with the nouns that represent them to make the translated copy more intelligible to the readers.
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