Translation Challenges

A couple of tips to avoid translation challenges when preparing documents for translating:

1. Avoid ‘PLAY ON WORDS’ these do not always translate well into other languages.

Generally the solution is to leave these words in English but this defeats the purpose of having the documents translated. A thought “if a document is translated from Chinese to English and words were left in Chinese how would you feel when trying to read the translated text!”

2. Avoid asking someone to translate text into another language which is not their mother tongue.

Below are extracts from an English technical document which was required translating into Spanish. On analysing the whole document it was apparent that this had been written in English by a French native.

  • Do not treat curses of water or drills. Spray in a calm weather, without heavy wind, to avoid drift of the pulverization to drills, water courses, lanes, access of farms or buildings.
  • Underwear of work made of polyester 65 %/cotton 35 % with an grammage 230 g/m2 or more with treatment DWR.
  • xxxxxxx xxxxx cannot assume any consequence due to a phenomenon of resistance.

Fortunately, we were able to obtain the original document which was in French and translated this into Spanish, by working in this way we could understand the text. I would add that the English text above is an actual ‘published technical document’ produced in France – which we find extremely hard to believe!

The above are scenarios where resolutions were required to provide the highest quality translation. Further information can be provided and we are happy to offer advice and support on translation projects.

I want to know more translation challenges. Please contact me