We’ve all seen terrible translations that are barely comprehensible and unenjoyable to read, but there are ways to produce excellent translation quality even if you’re not completely fluent in the language.
#1 Find a Native Speaker to Help
It always helps to find a person who is fluent in the language you’re trying to translate. If you don’t know anyone personally, language exchange websites like HelloTalk can match you with a real native speaker who can help with your translation.
Even Facebook and Reddit can be good resources to connect with native speakers or other translators who can answer questions. Hire a professional translator if you need to communicate in your non-native language in a professional setting. It may be an extra cost, but you’ll vastly improve translation quality and have a much easier time communicating with colleagues and clients.
#2 Don’t Rely on Computer Generated Translations
Translation apps, like Google Translate, are good for translating words or short phrases, but they can’t produce excellent translation quality.
Computer-generated translations cannot understand the context of a word and struggle with complex grammar. These translators can leave you with downright terrible, and sometimes hilarious translations.
#3 Check Your Work with a Reverse Translation
If you’re a native English speaker translating a sentence to Spanish, for example, check your work by translating the Spanish sentence back to English.
You may be able to catch errors with your original translation by thinking through the translation both ways. Plus, this gives language learners a little more practice so they can eventually master the new language.
#4 Keep Sentences Brief and Simple
Long, complex sentences are usually much more difficult to translate than short, simple sentences. So, don’t try to get fancy if you’re not familiar with a language.
A simple sentence usually has a noun, a verb, and an object. For example, “I ran to the park” don’t use words you’re not familiar with and try to limit adjectives unless you’re certain they’re used correctly.
#5 Specialize in One Topic Area
Even professional translators often focus on one area to specialize in, especially if there are a lot of technical terms to translate.
Specializing in one topic helps you build confidence in a new language. You’ll also get comfortable with grammar, helping your overall communication skills improve.
For help finding a specialized translator, a professional translation service provider can connect you to the best translator for your topic or industry.
For all of your corporate language training and translation needs, turn to Workplace Languages to break down those language barriers and effectively communicate. Workplace Languages is truly a full-service language provider, serving all industries in all languages.
At Workplace Languages we are not limited to just translation services, we also offer our clients a wide range of corporate language solutions so they can thrive in the international business environment.
If you would like to learn more about Workplace Languages, and how we can help you with your language and translation needs, please contact us here.