Translation is a highly technical task that requires a lot of skill, experience, and attention to detail. Professional translators need to possess a strong command of syntax and nuance to successfully translate texts from one language to another with the true meaning of the original maintained.

Top translators are not only experts in the languages they translate, but in phraseology and the etymology of words from a broad scope of tongues as well. Novice translators often fail to provide accurate translations of texts due to lack of confidence, experience, and a true knowledge of the provenance of important words.

Here are the most common mistakes inexperienced translators make.

Translating Verbatim

This is the biggest one. Many novice translators fall into the trap of trying to translate a text word for word. However, there are different syntactic rules for different languages, so translation is not simply a case of thumbing through a dictionary and replacing one word with another. Professional translators interpret a script as a whole into another language, retaining the style of the original, and conforming to all rules of grammar and syntax.

Using Inappropriate Vocabulary

There are certain words that cannot be translated directly into another language. For example, there is no equivalent for the Japanese wabi sabi, which means finding beauty in the imperfections of life and that everything is constantly changing. The direct translation of the German torschlusspanikis “gate-shut panic”, though it is a word used to refer to the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages. Professional translators don’t make such errors, but the inexperienced too often do.

Poor Style

Inexperienced translators often don’t understand the aspects involved with styling a script. If they only have a basic understanding of the target language, they often interpret a document without knowing or appreciating its appropriate style. When this happens, the essence and tone of the script can be lost in translation, and a poor result is produced.

Not Checking the Translation with Another Translator

There’s no substitute for having your work checked over by a second pair of eyes. While professional translators will always strive to produce the best translation possible in the first instance, ensuring it is double- or even triple-checked by other professionals is the only way to ensure that no errors are contained within the finished document.

At Magna Carta Translation, we have decades of experience offering translation services to legal and financial firms all over the globe. Our translators are all professionally trained and highly experienced.

If you need to make sure your message is translated with absolute accuracy, get in touch with us today. 

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