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What You Should Know About Document Translation

Translation work deals with written content. Simply put, translation renders the content from the source language into a target language. The earliest recorded translation works are religious texts. According to some historical accounts, the first was the Buddhist scriptures that were translated by Xuanzang, a Chinese monk. The most popular were the various early translations of the Bible, such as the translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek by the Septuagint and the translation of the Bible into Latin by Saint Jerome.

Today, document translation covers different topics and different industry niches. Document translation is vital in promoting understanding and proper communication among people who do not speak the same language. Translation affects lives, economies, public and private governance, and almost every aspect of society.

Considerations for the translation process

People outside the language services sector find it hard to understand document translation and its process. The first thing to remember is that translation involves more than just replacing the source text with words in another language. The following considerations translators take into account may help people to comprehend the translation process and have an idea of the importance of the translation service.

1.  Preparation

Before starting the process, the translator, especially one who is just starting in the job, prepares for the entire process. The translator acknowledges that the translation should be accurate but at the same time, they accept that a perfect translation is very difficult, if not impossible, to make. Other considerations include the time constraints, the theme or subject of the text and the target audience.

2.  Familiarity with the Subject and Specialization

Translators have different specializations and expertise. Some can do translations of general subjects, while others only accept medical, educational, legal, financial, or business translations.

Although they are familiar with the subject or topic of the content, they prepare for the project beforehand. They do an initial read-through to get an overview of the content. Then, the translator usually do research, use reference materials as well as ask clients for specific terminology to make sure that the translation is accurate and consistent.

They also consider the style and register of the content in order for the translation to be authentic. This aspect is of particular importance to the translation of marketing materials, which are specially written not only to inform but to offer credibility to the company or product, elicit a response and develop trust.

The translator likewise considers the use of a formal or informal tone for the translation, based on the requirements of the language pair. For example, when translating Spanish to German, the translator considers that Spanish uses more familiar or informal words. On the other hand, German uses polite and formal words.

3.  Target Audience

In relation to the above, the translator should know the target audience, so they can tailor the translation to the person who will use the translation. While translators follow translation guidelines, each work may need a different approach. Terminology is crucial, especially for technical translations, which are specific. Likewise, the translator also needs to consider the cultural vocabulary, which may or may not have a direct translation in another language. Translation conveys a message from the original language into different languages, to ensure that people who do not speak the same language can receive and understand the message or information in their native language.

In some instances, the translation maintains the original brand name, for example. But in some instances, the name or tagline may be changed or revised because the cultural connotation or meaning is detrimental to the acceptance or success of the company or brand. One example of name changes is the Mitsubishi Pajero. The term “Pajero” in Latin American Spanish has sexual connotations, although the name comes from Leopardus pajeros or Pampas cat. Likewise, Pajero is marketed as “Shogun” in the United Kingdom.

4.  Speed and Delivery

On-time delivery is crucial because clients have deadlines to meet as well. A key factor is an organization, as the translator may have other projects lined up. Speed is essential but the translator’s main concern should be the accuracy of the translation. A person who is just starting may be able to translate around 300 words an hour. One who only uses a computer can translate around 1,800 words per day. The more experienced translator may be able to translate about 2,000 to 3,000 words a day, using translation tools such as translation memory. This translation rate also includes the time to edit and revise the work.

Practical Uses of Translating Your Documents

Document translation helps to narrow the gap in communication by making sure that the global audience can understand messages and information in their language.

Translation services are vital to all aspects of society and beneficial to global business. Translation helps multinational companies grow. The service enables the sharing of information in preferred languages, helps foreign companies connect with local businesses, seal deals and promote trade and commerce.

Document translation promotes cultural interchange. More people who speak different languages appreciate and enjoy films, literature, music and other forms of art through translation. Artists, authors, film directors and musicians are just some of the people who benefit from translation services, allowing more people from different cultures to become aware of and enjoy the works of others.

Translation is vital in international diplomacy. Proper communication is critical to ensure international accord. World leaders, diplomats, and business leaders should present their thoughts and ideas in the language they speak.

Disseminating information, transferring news, boosting tourism also come about because documents are accurately translated by professional translators.

Can I Translate My Documents?

Technically, if you are bilingual, you can translate your documents, but basically, the translation can only be for informal use. You can also use machine translation for your informal translation needs.

If you are going to use the translation for official purposes, such as when you’re applying for a visa, either for work, further education or immigration, you should hire a professional translator to handle your document translation.

Professional translation work considers many things. The translator should have proper training. Aside from education and training, a translator should be fluent in the source language and in the target language, which should be the mother tongue of the translator.

A professional translator may need certification before being allowed to do translation work, such as in medical and legal translation. Computer skills, using CAT tools, expertise in a particular subject, business skills, and writing skills are likewise essential.

Who Can Translate a Document?

To ensure that the translation is accurate and of high quality, you should only get a professional translator to translate your document. A professional translator has the right training, experience, linguistic proficiency, and writing skills to perform translation work.

Contact eTranslation Services – We are Always Ready for Your Translation Needs

Whenever you need high-quality professional translation services, you only need to get in touch with eTranslation Services. Our network of professional translators consists of native speakers who live in-country. We can immediately connect you with the right translator who fit your requirements. You can either get in touch with us by sending an email at [email protected] or calling us at (800) 882-6058.


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