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What Makes an Unprofessional Translation?

By May 8, 2018Translation Tips
What Makes an Unprofessional Translation

There are many ways in which a translation may appear to have been done in an unprofessional way so that it doesn’t truly reflect the meaning of the original or source document. This is, in effect, an unprofessional translation.

Stylistic issues

When comparing different translations of the client is not happy with the translation then the translator will want to know why. Typically, the error detected by the client is not poor spelling, grammar and pronunciation, but it’s the style of writing used in the translation. It may simply not quite match with the message the client is trying to put across for his or her business.

The translator really produced an unprofessional translation because the client wasn’t consulted about style before the translation was underway. Any further unprofessional translations can be avoided if the translator has a better communication experience with the client.

Unreasonable requests

An unprofessional translation often takes place when the client has set a deadline which the translator can only meet if less time is spent on the translation. Even if the client offers a bonus to get the work completed quickly this doesn’t mean the translation will be well done.

Sharing a translation project

Consistency in the use of language is vital to ensure a translated text flows well but sometimes a translation project is shared around several different translators. This often lowers the chance of consistency in the use of language in each of the texts translated. This sort of practice could produce an unprofessional translation.

Other unprofessional translations signs

If the professional translation agency isn’t really doing a good job tell tale signs will be if the translated text is significantly lower in word count than the source text. Also the translation appears to be full of spelling errors and typos. Both these translation outcomes could be called unprofessional translations.

Formatting problems from source text to translated text

Sometimes a source text is situated in a particular place, for example on a website, and in its source language it covers a certain area. Once the text is in the front of a translator, apart from providing an accurate translation, it’s important that the translated text fits into exactly the same place on a page as the source text does so that its position has the intended effect on the reader. When translating text between English and another language there may be some instances where the number of words required is more than the English of the source document. If the translator doesn’t know how to create the right effect this could be considered an unprofessional translation and the professional translation agency may be to blame for not putting the best translator on the job in the first place.

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