For non-linguists, choosing the right translation service can be frustrating. Check out these 10 tips that will help you get the most out of your translations. This is the first set of tips that will assist you in assessing which linguistic service is the best for you.
  1. 1. First of all, you must understand the difference between translation and interpreting. In short, translators write, interpreters speak. So, if you are working with written documents you need a translator. If you want to interact with people in a foreign language on the spot, you need an interpreter. You can find more information at
  2. 2. Translate only relevant sections of documents. Rather than blindly translating documents in full, decide which information is actually required. Produce shorter documents or trim the existing ones!
  3. 3. Keep international from the start. Keep some regionalisms or local flavor if you like, but check with your linguistic provider to make sure that adaptation is possible.
  4. 4. Finish your source text before starting the translation. Most of the times you have no choice and you need the translation to be done before or while you finish the original document. We do recommend providing a final text, it will save time and avoid errors!
  5. 5. TOP TIP !Resist the temptation to do it yourself! Even if you are fluent in a foreign language and spend lots of time in the countries where those languages are spoken, most of the times your written command of a foreign language will be immediately recognizable as “foreign”. In many cultures, sloppy use of the local language is insulting… and you may be losing some interesting clients!
  6. 6. Be sure to tell your translators what the text is for, so that they can prepare a foreign-language version with maximum impact for that particular audience and medium.
  7. 7. Translators always work into their native language. Do translators living abroad lose touch of their native tongue? Perhaps, but expert linguists keep their language skills up wherever they live.
  8. 8. No one reads your texts more carefully than your translator. A good translator reads and understands your sentences entirely before creating new ones in the target language, so an inquisitive translator is always good news!
  9. 9. Talk to your translators. They should be acquainted with the subjects they translate.
  10. 10. Speak your readers’ language. Be concrete, be specific. As you may have noticed, most of these tips are related to the communication between you and your team of translators. This is extremely important. You will get the best results from developing an ongoing relationship with a translator or team of translators. The longer you work with them and the better they understand your business philosophy, strategy and products, the more effective their texts will be.
I will be back soon with the next 5 tips to help you get the most out of your translations!