Best Tips for Translation

Translating from one language into another can be quite a difficult task. This is because each language is unique, and with this uniqueness comes originality which otherwise might not be found in another language. The use of proverbs, idioms might even be lost during the process of translation. However, if it is accurately done, common errors like that can be completely avoided.

When you need to write a successful professional translation, there are a number of factors that you must consider before you even begin translating. This is important because adequate preparation makes the art of translation easier. You should target clear and concise sentences because this is the only way you can be sure you have captured every bit of information in the original sentence.

paper translation

To avoid making common mistakes, here are a few tips for translation


When translating, it is usually impossible to completely capture the meaning of the text in the original language. This is why it is important to make your translation as simple and comprehensive as possible. You should always ask yourself, “What is important in this sentence? What is the message it tries to pass across?” When you find that, it is then up to you to recreate that sentence in about 20 words or less, in the simplest way possible.


The main aim of translation is to make a previously unreadable text — due to language barriers — readable to individuals. Using compound and complex sentences adds a level of complexity to the translation. This is why it is important that you try as much as possible to maintain the standard English word order, that is having a Subject, Verb and Object. It is also important to check for errors in the source text, so as not to translate an error into a new language.


It is tempting to want to infuse humor into the translated piece. However, you must remember that language is representative of a culture. Perception and understanding are two factors that should not be thrown to the wind. Expressions are not universally understood, or even appreciated. Also, humor hardly translates to equivalency. However, if you believe that humor is a part of the source text, you should then use what is called transcreation. Transcreation is the process of communicating the same message of similar emotional effect, or feelings, as well as using the style and tone of the source text to achieve translation.


It is quite easy to translate dates since the entire world uses a unified calendar. However, mistakes can occur when dates aren’t properly explained. An example is this: 07/08/2020. This could mean the 7th of August, 2020. It could also mean 8th of July, 2020. To be sure you don’t mislead your reader, spell the month’s name out. This way, your reader immediately understands.


The goal of translation is to communicate. The sole purpose is to communicate the ideas of a particular writer from one language into another. When translating, this should always be at the back of your mind. Also, it is important to maintain a uniqueness which translates to accuracy.


It is common to get carried away during the process of translation. Check that all your translated texts have meaning, and their meanings are equivalent to the message of the source text. Also, check for grammatical errors, as this could also lead to ambiguity. Always read the translated text over and over again until it feels right in your ears.

After translation, you can always ask somebody else to read your work. This gives you an edge of what’s missing, and what could be better translated to give a clearer meaning.

Get your translation edited by an expert!

scientific editing blog

all tips for translation

Photo of author

By Andy Xavier

Andy is an avid content developer and writer. He is experienced in creating engaging articles that are entirely unique and insightful. He has written lots of articles for Scientific Editing since 2019.

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

What is a sentence fragment?

Sentence Fragments; Definition & Examples

A sentence fragment is a group of words punctuated improperly as if it were a complete sentence, starting with a capital letter and ending with a period or other end punctuation. A sentence fragment may appear to be a complete sentence, but it is not. Sentence fragments usually lack a subject or verb, or they…
What is a noun?

What Is a Noun?

What is a noun?What are all types of nouns?How is a noun used in a sentence? A noun is referred to any word that names something. This could be a person, place, thing, or idea. Nouns play different roles in sentences. A noun could be a subject, direct object, indirect object, subject complement, object complement,…
Common mistakes in translation

Common Mistakes in Translation

More often than not, people commit many mistakes while translating a document. In fact, mistakes in translations occur more than regular writing.  One needs to have an excellent command on both languages, the one which has to be translated, and the other is – in which the translation has to be done. One should have…
What is a verb?

What Is a Verb?

What is a verb? What is a verb tense? What are different types of verbs? To find answers to these questions, stay tuned and keep reading! Definition A verb can be defined as a doing or action word. It shows an action, event or state of being. Sentences in the English Language can have either…
paragraph structure

Paragraph Structure – Quick Guide

What Is a Paragraph? A paragraph refers to a group of related sentences that support a central idea. A typical paragraph structure consists of 3 parts; they include, the topic sentence, the body sentences, and finally, the conclusion or bridge sentence that links the present paragraph to the next paragraph or section. Paragraphs play an…