Effective communication requires everyone involved to understand the others before giving their response. But what happens in cases where multiple languages are involved, which results in a language barrier? The people involved rely on translation services to understand every stated fact and respond accordingly. If you work for a translation company, you should focus on the accuracy of your content besides quality and timeliness. This article outlines the top 15 tips you should prioritize when writing for translation. You are your clients’ solution to leaping over the language barrier.
Keep Your Sentences Short and Simple
Like any other industry, writing for translation aims at cutting costs and timelines. You should therefore avoid long and complex sentences which confuse the readers besides raising the costs and timelines. Moreover, short sentences also minimize your chances of making errors and maximize readability.
Maintain the White Space
Foreign languages primarily run about 20% to 25% longer than English (in written). If you should add space to your document after translating for easier fitting, you incur extra costs and timelines. It is advisable to leave the white space to prevent such inconveniences.
Ensure consistency in your Terminologies
Writing for translation requires you to maintain consistency in your terminologies. Consistency is responsible for ensuring cost-effectiveness, brief and precise content, and easier accessibility by the target audience.
While idioms may contain a specific meaning in English, they may confuse the other language. It would help if you avoided them in your translation career for precise and accurate content.
Avoid Abbreviations and Initials
For an easier understanding of the message among your audience, you should avoid abbreviations and initials. Besides wasting the clients’ time and causing confusion, the initials may also not carry the same meaning in the target language. It would be best if you wrote every word in full to minimize the risks associated with acronyms.
Include Visuals if Possible
The goal of your translation services is to ensure a comprehensive and accurate understanding by your audience. Incorporating a few visuals where possible is effective in eliminating confusion and enhancing understanding.
Have in Mind the Existing Cultural Differences
Communication across multiple cultures comes with significant cultural differences. For effective and accurate communication, you should research and understand all the existing differences. Additionally, it would be best to respect the differences between the cultures during your translation for perfect content.
Pay Attention to Dates and Numbers
The translation aims at passing the same information accurately from one language to another. The message should remain the same, including the dates, numbers, and times. When writing for translation, you should be keen on every date and number for accuracy. Furthermore, you should also agree with your client on a specific style for the dates and numbers.
Focus More on Active Voice
In addition to using fewer words, active voice is also direct and easier to understand. When writing your translation, you should have a better experience with the active voice which means a better outcome for your clients. The voice also decreases your chances of making mistakes and the translation expenses.
Apply the Standard Structure (English)
Before embarking on your translation project, you should research and understand the basics and language structure involved. The structure should guide you in minimizing errors and maintaining accuracy. Proofreading your work, in the end, is also vital in identifying and rectifying any errors you may have missed as you work.
Precision and accuracy are primary components of quality translation services. It is advisable to choose a specific source and language to minimize confusion and errors. Vague sources and multiple languages compromise your results by exposing you to greater chances of errors.
Respect the One Idea One Sentence Rule
For accuracy and easier understanding, you should introduce one idea for every sentence. The rule helps prevent misinterpretation and misunderstanding by the audience. The rule is also your trick to maintaining simplicity throughout the work.
Leave Room for Expansion
Your target language determines the amount of space you need for translation. You should leave adequate space for expansion to avoid squeezing up your content and increasing the costs and timelines involved. An English to Russian translation, for instance, requires more space as the latter is hugely longer than its English version.
Avoid Words or Phrases with Double Meanings
It would be best to avoid words and phrases with more than one meaning when writing for translation. Such words and phrases may confuse the audience rather than passing the right message. It would help if you considered their synonyms for easier understanding.
When writing for translation, you should be brief and to the point. Wordiness may easily result in loss of the intended message besides confusion. It would help if you remain conscious while maintaining the same message.
Writing for translation is not a simple task. It requires your patience and attention to deliver the intended message. With the right tips and experience that you garner along the way, you will soon become a pro. Practicing your new language skills should also be beneficial.