The 3 Most Commonly Made Mistakes in Language Translation

Language translation, like any profession, has its intricacies. For seasoned translators, the common mistakes of a novice are all too familiar. It truly does take time and experience to perfect the skills necessary to translate efficiently and effortlessly. Anyone hiring a Language Service Provider (LSP) should confirm that they are ISO 17100 certified, it's a major indicator in the quality of translation you will receive. No one wants to find out about a significant gaff after a product launches internationally.  

Here are three of the most commonly made mistakes in the world of language translation, all of which are avoidable. 

Translating Word for Word 

New call-to-actionFor many novice translators, it can be tempting to translate a document word for word. After all, it makes sense that this would be an accurate route to take. Because of differences in languages and dialects, however, this typically results in an inaccurate translation, and it may even come off as gibberish. The culprit is usually syntax, which is something that no translator is capable of learning overnight. With experience, however, this issue tends to fade away. 

Mistaking the Meaning of Certain Words 

In English, certain words have similar spellings yet wholly different meanings. It's one of the reasons why English is incredibly tricky for many people to learn – yet it's far from being the only language with this issue. Mistaken meanings of certain words can wreck even the best translations and need avoiding at all costs. Nevertheless, those who are new to translation are bound to make mistakes when it comes to the meanings of certain words, especially if they're new to a particular language. 

The best way to overcome this challenge is to spend ample time studying and real-life practice. However, even with years of experience, this can still be an issue with technical translations. To make sure your translations are correct, we recommend organizations develop a translation glossary. Not only does a translation glossary help your translator fully understand the meaning of certain words, but it's also useful for keeping your organization's voice and tone consistent across multiple languages.

Disrupting the Flow of Communication 

Perhaps the most challenging task for novice translators to nail down is maintaining a good flow of communication while translating. It's the kind of thing that often gets overlooked, yet proper communication skills are the cornerstone of a good translation. Often, the words are adequately translated, but grammatically, they might be a mess. Communication is just as important in written form as it is in verbally, after all. So, any translator worth their marbles is not only capable of speaking in another tongue but also more than able to master the written word. 


 

Over To You

And there you have it! Three of the most common mistakes made by language translators. With Lingualinx, you won't ever have to worry about your message getting across. You know you're in good hands with our ISO 17100 compliance, twenty years of professional translation experience, and the organizations whose trust we've earned.

 

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