23 Sep Some Helpful Solutions for Document Translation
In case your company is planning an international expansion, you will face the need for document translation sooner or later. This may comprise of legal, technical, or business documentation or many others. You may need to hire professionals for the project.
But translation projects face some common challenges. The following are some of them and the solutions for these:
Lack of Editable Format
In some situations, there might be a lack of editability. You may not be able to judge the number of words in the document.
The solution is a new technology called OCR (Optical Character Recognition). This tool converts an image of printed, handwritten, or typed content into highly editable text. This implies that the photo of a text can be converted into a file that can be opened via a text editor.
This problem implies the difference between the structure of sentences in English and other languages. These are common issues faced by translators on a daily basis.
For instance, in the English language, the adjective is located before the noun, while in the case of French; it is placed following the noun. Note that language is ever-evolving, vast, and complicated. The translator must know the accurate structure of each language, and the translation must be completed without altering the meaning.
The solution is to become well-versed and gain expertise with a couple of languages. You can make use of TMT (Translation Memory Tools), grammar checkers, and other techniques to ensure that you have kept abreast of structure in the target language without altering the sense or meaning of the source document.
Differences in Culture
The culture of people speaking various languages will differ. Often the language may feature culture-specific colloquialism, which makes tough the job of the translator. For instance, British speakers of English may feature biting sarcasm, which may not be appreciated in other cultures that speak English itself. The issue is how to translate accurately without hurting the sentiments of the target audience.
The solution is to scan the internet to learn the colloquialism popular in the particular language and gain familiarity with common dialects. One must soak in most aspects of the culture through books, magazines, TV shows, and movies.
A compound word is a mix of 2 or 3 adjectives and nouns. Some compounds are straightforward and mean exactly what they say- like ‘afternoon’ while others may have different meanings, such as ‘deadline’. This can get tricky for translators.
For solving this problem, one must focus one’s knowledge on a specific niche. One must not be a jack of all trades; choose 1 or 2 subjects and gain expertise in them. Become familiar with most compound words in your subject area and learn the translations. Make your job easy with software like Translation Memory.
This is a common issue of document translation. Certain terms are maybe totally absent in some languages. This may be because of cultural factors like the absence of certain objects or the lack of certain activities in a specific culture.
In these cases, it is best to confer with clients and then arrive at a decision. The latter may recommend retaining the word as it features in the source document or may suggest a new term themselves. Or you may have to come up with a newly coined term that is as close to the meaning of the missing word as possible.
In sum, these are some of the major challenges facing translators and some tips to help solve these major issues.