How to Reach Acceptable Standard of Translation?

Last Updated On: January 18, 2019

inTranslation Tips

high quality translation

Unless you are bilingual or multilingual yourself, it is hard to know whether the translations you receive from a professional translator are of the quality you want. What is a good translation? Basically, a high quality translation is something that has been translated so well that the person or people who read it do not know that it is a translation and at the same time it conveys the message you want to get across perfectly.

Here are some translation tips and tricks that you can use to achieve a high quality translation.

1. It all comes down to the translation agency

Assuming you are not doing the translations yourself, you will be dependent on using a professional translator or a translation agency. Obviously, some are better than others. Good translation businesses, like any other businesses these days, develop a reputation and it is usually easy to go online and find out just what the reputation is for the translators you are thinking of using.


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You can also get an idea of the professionalism of the translator or agency by carefully examining their commercial website. A good translation website which emphasises the translator’s dedication to quality is an indication that this might be a good choice for you. You can be sure that the better the translator the busier they will be!

2. Choose a translator / translation agency that specialises in the sort of content you want translated.

Translators are rarely generalists and tend to specialise in a particular field of translation. They also specialise in the languages they offer for translation. Some may offer more than one language pair, but for a high quality translation you are looking for a specialist in the language you are translating into as well as for content. The criteria for a good translation will include the level of familiarity with terminology and phraseology. For example if you run a business that deals with making medical equipment, you may want to translate manuals and guidelines for use for the equipment you are manufacturing. It helps to have a translator who is familiar with medical terms and medical equipment.

3. Build a working relationship with your translator

Once you are confident that you have chosen a translator or agency capable of completing what makes a good translation, it is best to stick to the same translator. The translator will become familiar with the tips for translators you are looking for and will be able to build up a useful glossary as well as quickly adapt to the style you want throughout your translation projects.

4. It’s not all about price

Of course, everyone who needs translation work done for them on a regular basis is interested in getting the best value for their dollar, but high quality translation is not just about finding the lowest common denominator. It takes time to complete a good quality translation and the job doesn’t end there. Translated material does need to be properly proofread and often what makes the difference between an average translation and a high quality one is the amount of post translation proofreading and editing done. A well proofread and edited document is likely to be costlier than a document that has been translated more speedily, but then you are paying for quality, not speed.

5. Good quality material should be first provided to the translator

It is unlikely that even the best translator can turn a badly worded document or poorly explained manual into a high quality product. Generally, translations are only as good as the material they work with, at best. That means that if you expect a high quality output from the translator, you must first provide high quality content for them to translate. Basically, this means that you are not expecting the translator to make a second guess at what you are trying to say. The harder the material is that you give to the translator, the more likely that the translator will waste time trying to find out what you mean.

6. Keep up the communication throughout the translation task

If you have a lot of translation that you want completed, it is important that you maintain good communication channels with the translator throughout the process. This is particularly important in the early stages of a business relationship with the translator when you want to ensure you are getting across the standards you wish to achieve and you can iron out any discrepancies in style.

If you are targeting specific communities within the broader language group, you will also want to ensure that the nuances used by that group are addressed by the translator. A good translator will be aware of potential cultural sensitivities when translating some material and this can be discussed more easily if you are in regular communication.

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