How complex can translation be? After all, there are dictionaries that provide guides to translating one word to another. There’s even translation software.
Translators hear these sentiments all of the time. This usually happens when someone is taken aback after receiving a bid for translation services. The disconnect is usually because people don’t understand the complexities involved in translating content from one language to another.
Translators Must Retain Meaning And Messaging
It does absolutely no good to translate something from one language to another if the intended meaning or messaging gets lost. That takes very careful effort on the part of the translator. They have to work with the content owner to understand exactly what they are trying to say. Then they have to ensure that the translated content retains the same meaning after it is translated.
This is more complex than people realize. For example, a landing page written in American English may use imagery, cultural references, and phrasing that conveys a certain message and has a very definite meaning to the intended audience. If that page is translated to German without taking anything else into consideration the resulting landing page would likely be confusing to Germans who may not relate at all to what they see.
Translations Must Take Culture Into Consideration
Culture is a complicated thing. It is everything people in a certain region admire, hold dear, revile, their traditions, their taboos, and more. If a translator is not educated in these matter or if they don’t take culture into consideration, things can go quite badly. There have been several instances of well-known brands unintentionally causing great offense because they used a phrase, a color, a reference that was insulting to their target audience.
For example, in America an image or text depicting a child having their hair tousled or their head patted will evoke thoughts of playful affection, congratulations, or reassurance. In many Asian countries, this action is considered to be deeply insulting.
In Many Cases Translators Must Also be Subject Matter Experts
A translator may be required to translate a variety of content. Some of this requires that they know more than the relevant languages. After all, who would want to trust any of the following documents to a translator without subject matter knowledge:
Business And Employment Contracts
Legal Briefings And Pleadings
Medication Packaging And Instructions
Court Records And Findings
Patent And Copyright Documents
Medical And Healthcare Information
Patient Records And Health History
This is just a partial list. A large number of documents or other content that translators deal with could result in significant negative impact if they get something wrong. The translation services that Pick Writers recommends have highly qualified translators to do this work.
Auto Translators Are Rarely Effective
Machine translation rarely works very effectively. Some companies do use it when they are able to accept a certain margin of error. Machine translation may also be necessary when there is a large volume of data to be translated in a short period of time.
When a translator conducts a manual translation, the process is much more complex. They must interact with the customer to determine the exact goals of the translation. They must read all of the content thoroughly. They must identify possible ambiguities, and gain further insights into the meaning of the content. This is detailed work, and it requires a lot of skill.
The average translator has skills that go beyond language. Many are educated in fields such as business, technology, law, or health care in addition to their language abilities. In addition to this, many translators are qualified to certify their translations so that they are acceptable to government bodies and other organizations.