Common Grammar Mistakes in English Translations

By Atlas LS

Translating words from one language to another is meticulous work. You have to translate every single world exactly and know when the grammar and spelling are correct. Clients depend on you to be the expert on all aspects of a language translation. Review a few mistakes that are commonly made when you make translations.

Common Grammar Mistakes in English Translations

Lack of Plural Nouns

Many translators have trouble with translating plural nouns. Plural values must be used when talking about a group of people or a collection of items. At times, it gets confusing because some nouns do not have plural forms and are called uncountable nouns, such as information or water. Instead of saying “waters,” add the appropriate words like “gallons of water” or “pages of information.”

Incomplete Sentences / Missing Words

Most translations are inaccurate for missing certain words like subordinators, verbs or subjects. In some sentences, the problem is barely noticeable, but in other sentences, the message is incomplete and needs further elaboration. When you translate, double check that all of the words are included by rereading the entire sentences from start to finish.

Comma Splices / Run-On Sentences

Run-on sentences occur when two independent sentences are combined when they should be separated. A comma, semicolon or no punctuation mark is put in the place of a period. This mistake makes one sentence drag on without allowing the reader to take a breath.

Many people are confused about where to insert commas and accidentally create comma splices. As a general rule, two independent clauses are sentences on their own and must be separated by full periods.

Formal vs. Informal Writing

The translator should know when it’s appropriate to make corrections. An informal document, such as a letter or email, that’s written between friends will likely be full of grammatical errors. It’s not as important to make corrections there. But a formal document like a business memo or conference speech should be corrected using proper spelling and grammar usage.

Why Translation Software Is Not Effective Enough

Using translation software to translate a few words or phrases is effective, but not entirely accurate if you want to translate an entire page or document. This type of work is so complex that it cannot be automated or completed solely by a computer.

Translating goes beyond the process of converting one word after another. Having advanced grammar, spelling and vocabulary skills is necessary to make accurate translations into the English language. Many documents are written by people who have below average grammar. Work with professional translators who provide legal, medical and business conference translation services.