The Anatomy of a Good Translation

11We still can’t get to grips with automatic translation that comes across as if it was written by a human. In the meantime, when you need a business translation service, you’ll need to approach the people. The reason why humans are still better than machines at translating, is that a good translation is a not necessarily a case of word for word transliteration.

Instead, the anatomy of a good translation is as follows:

The most important criteria is that a translation should make sense. Even if it strays from the meaning of the original piece, if it makes sense then it could offer some value. If it doesn’t make sense then it’s likely to embarrass your business.

Meaning though is extremely important. Meaning takes precedence over the accuracy of a word for word translation and often a translator will need to use their creativity to maintain meaning, especially with a translation that crosses cultural boundaries.

Beyond meaning there is tone. So once a translation hits its meaning, it’s important that it also strikes the right tone. So if the original document as a very authoritative tone, then this should be carried over into the final piece.

A good translator will be fluent in the original and target language and crucially will be aware of the culture of the target language. So, for instance if you require German translation, then your chosen translator should know something of the culture.

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