Every day, you are constantly faced with the challenge of communicating effectively in a language that is not your native tongue. Whether it’s at work, on the phone, or to make friends with someone new, communication becomes increasingly difficult if you don’t know how to use language correctly. This article contains tips for accurate language translation, so it is a must-read article if you need to take your translation a notch higher.
Understand The Content
The first thing you need to do is understand the content; it’s just as simple as that. Before you can translate accurately, you have to know what the person who said it meant. Do not get misled by the literal translation of a text because this could lead to grave mistakes and misunderstandings. At Magma Translation, we ensure our translators understand the content before translating it.
For example: in English, we say “you’re welcome” when someone has apologized, and we usually respond to a “thank you” with another “you’re welcome.” However, in Chinese, there are two different concepts; the first one means that the apology is accepted while the latter means that it is unnecessary.
Make It Sound Natural
Once you understand the content, you need to make sure that it sounds natural in your target language. If a sentence is exceptionally formal or casual in English, do not attempt to translate it word for word and copy the tone. This will help avoid any awkwardness and possible confusion and keep the conversation flowing naturally.
For example, there are several different ways to tell someone to get lost in English. You could either write “go away” or “get lost,” the former being more informal than the latter. In another language such as German, however, these two phrases would have the same tone and meaning, making it necessary for you to express the style of the sentence as well.
Break Down Long Sentences
Too long sentences are hard to translate because they can sound stiff and unnatural, which is why you need to break them down. It doesn’t matter if the sentence has a lot of commas and clauses, these phrases can be broken down into shorter sections so that it sounds correct in your target language.
For example, a sentence such as “I was going to eat lunch but then I went and bought some groceries instead” becomes much easier when you split it into two complete sentences; “I was going to eat lunch, but then I went and bought some groceries instead.”
Make Sure You Translate The Appropriate Words
In English, some words have different connotations and meanings than they do in other languages. It’s important to know what these words mean so that you can translate them accordingly and correctly.
For example: “I’m so tired” can be translated to mean that you’re exhausted in your target language and not sleepy. In some languages, such as German, the word “tired” is only used to describe a certain degree of sleepiness, making it necessary for you to find out what the actual meaning is before translating it.
Use A Dictionary And Phrase Books
It can be difficult to translate correctly when you’re entirely unfamiliar with the language. Still, if you use a dictionary or phrasebook, you’ll be able to identify the correct translation of certain words. While it’s always helpful to keep these resources on hand, they still don’t hold a candle compared to experience.
For example, you may use a dictionary or phrasebook to translate the word “flower,” but if you haven’t seen one before then, you can’t know what color and shape it is, making it necessary for you to use your judgment when translating this term.
Be Aware Of The Use Of Words
In some languages, the word that is used for an object can depend on its use. It’s essential to understand when these variants are necessary so that you can apply them correctly into your translation.
For example: “the cat sat on the mat” can be translated as “el gato se sentó sobre la alfombra” in Spanish. However, if you’re translating this sentence to another language, such as French, you must specify that the word “mat” refers to a piece of fabric because this word means carpet in French.
To provide a high-quality translation, you need to understand the content and make sure that it sounds natural. You also need to break down long sentences into smaller pieces of information and translate all appropriate words in each sentence. Using a dictionary or phrasebook can help with this process. Knowing these tips will allow you to have your document translated accurately without any mistakes.