Tips for Making Your Translations Better

By Atlas LS

The translation industry is expected to experience much greater rates of growth than other jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that the translation industry will grow by nearly 20 percent over the next decade.

translation tips

The reasons for this uptick in job opportunities owes a lot to the ubiquitous demand for translators in other industries. Translators are vitally needed in courtrooms, schools, hospitals, and a myriad of conference settings.

With tens of thousands of jobs on offer as translators in these booming sectors, translators are obviously looking for ways to get better and improve their job prospects. The tips found below are meant to address that need and provide a leg-up to those looking to break through in the translation industry.

Scrutinize the Instructions

Thoroughly reviewing all of the files and documents that you’re to translate is the first step to crafting a world-class translation. From there, you’ll want to go over the instructions so that you can check off all of the boxes for the client.

By going over the instructions thoroughly, you might also glean insights into how to approach your translation.

For instance, if you face a judgement call about a particular idiom or nuance, you’ll have a richer idea of what the client is after by reading the instructions.

Instructions that stipulate the target audience and setting could certainly steer you in a different direction for a translation that you might otherwise not instinctively wander in.

Collaborate with Translation Project Manager

A translator’s project manager can help clarify whether a given translator will be a good fit for an assignment based on how the subject matter and required style meshes with the translator’s experience, competencies, and style.

There’s always the temptation to take on an assignment in cases in which the translator knows something about the field in question but perhaps not enough to do justice to a translation. That’s where an experienced project manager should step in and clarify certain issues or hand off the assignment to someone more experienced.

Multiple rounds of revisions and quality control will likely become issue for a translator who’s stretching his or her experience by taking on an assignment slightly outside of their area of expertise.

Sometimes the translation can pull off this kind of feat by doing enough research and having a mastery of the respective languages, but the translator shouldn’t be shocked over having to do more edits.

The extra research time and potential for more edits make taking on esoteric assignments prohibitive in some cases, but it really underscores the need for vigilant translation project managers!

Become Your Own Editor…Initially

After a translator has completed a translation, s/he should run a spellcheck and correct any obvious typos before handing the document off to the editor. Reading the document without reference to the source text can also be helpful for finding out whether the translated document reads smoothly.

Lastly, make a final scan for formatting issues with the files and documents you’ve been working with.