The Importance of Quality in Translation
We often do not realise the work involved in translating a piece of text. In order to get such a job done, your translator will need to have a good command over both the source and target languages. Though there are software tools developed to help you translate text from one language to another, you should avoid using such tools if translation quality is important to you.
What are the consequences of bad translation?
Bad translation standards may hinder your marketing efforts. For instance, as a result of poor quality translation, your brand image and messages may become inconsistent across new territories. In some cases, you may have to spend even more money correcting translation mistakes and your marketing campaign.
For instance, the tagline for one of HSBC’s campaigns was “assume nothing”. Unfortunately, this call to action was mistranslated as “do nothing” in many markets. This presented a rather stagnant image of the HSBC brand – i.e. is the bank doing nothing to grow your money? To rebuild client trust, the bank had to spend another £6.8 million on a rebranding campaign using its new tagline, “The world’s private bank”.
A good piece of translation also goes beyond accuracy. It takes into consideration the local nuances of the target language. When Swedish giant Electrolux introduced its vacuum cleaners in the United States for the first time, it went with a marketing slogan in hopes of drawing attention to its product performance: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. Though the slogan was grammatically correct, it never took off with Americans.
If quality translation is a priority for you, read on for tips on how you can be assured of quality work.
What is quality translation?
A good piece of translation conveys the same content as the source text. A good translator will not add ideas or delete them. As translation accuracy in any type and size of project is critical, expressions, nuances and terminology must be translated correctly.
Needless to say, the translated document should be free from grammar and spelling mistakes. A translator should compare his translation to the source document closely, and ensure it flows smoothly.
Since the source text was created for a specific target and audience, it is necessary to respect the tone and purpose of the original text, so that the translation carries the same effect. If it is a persuasive letter, the translated text must be written with the same objective. If it is an official speech, the translated text must be written in the right tone.
What influences the quality of translation?
Quality of source text
The provision of the source text and its quality is one of the factors that most directly influence translation success. If the source text is prepared correctly, the succeeding steps in the process are likely to go smoothly as well.
Language services providers may adhere to international industry standards, so that clients can be assured of the quality of service. The ISO 17100 certification is a recognised specialist standard for companies within the translation industry. It ensures that case files are fully backed up and retrievable, and that translation processes and procedures are well-defined.
If you are looking for a language services partner, look no further. At elionetwork, our ISO 17001:2015 Quality Assurance policy is proof of our commitment to quality. Continuous improvement is at the core of our company – that’s why we consistently review every quality performance procedure and standard we have on a regular basis – then make them even better.
While it is not necessary for a translator to know well the subject that is translated, it is a plus to engage translators who have worked on similar topics or projects. This is because specific terminology used in specialised projects can take time to master. In some cases, the translated text can be finalised by a terminologist or subject matter expert, especially when it comes to technical texts. The translator can also be supported with a glossary of terms, style guides and relevant reference materials.
Translation is a collaborative effort. Aside from translating the text, translation may involve editing and revising, proofreading, review and final copy as well as other quality control measures, to ensure that it is a mirror image of the original. In most cases, the editor who revises the translation should be a different person. However, if there are time constraints, the writer can edit and proofread his work.
For the right way to go global, engage a professional language solutions provider who understands linguistic nuances and who can ensure translation quality. At elionetwork, we help marketers create the greatest punch in their target language. Whether you are looking for tips, translation or transcreation expertise, chat with us to get started today.