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 a very good understanding of the language, syntax, idioms, terminology, and the culture of the particular region where the language is used to avoid any mistakes in translation.

pointing handHere is a list of common mistakes in translation:

1. Not paying attention to effective communication

First things first, the most common mistake that people make while translating is lack of clarity. To translate anything correctly, it is crucial to have a clear communication. There has to be no misunderstanding and confusion when we really want to translate a document into another language. Especially, if a person is working as a translator, it is important that he/she maintains a clear channel of communication.

2. Word to Word Translation

Of course, a documents needs to be translated without changing the meaning of the text, but translating it word for word simply distort the overall meaning of the text. Many times, translating word for word makes the text lose its significance in its original term. So, it is crucial that the translation is done in the same style and manner as it intends. Translation should be done considering different syntactic rules in mind.

In fact, word to word translation is a common problem with Google translate.  The software is, however, a work in progress, trying to solve the problem.

3. Not having proper knowledge of the language

As said earlier, it is highly important that a translator has complete proficiency in both languages. If a person lacks in any of the language and still takes the task in hand, that it is going to be a waste of time. Without having proper knowledge of the language, translation will be meaningless and full of errors.

4. Not following the manner and style

Another most common mistake that people usually do is not following the manner and style of the language. Simply, translating any document into another language requires understanding of the style and syntax of that language to give it significance. If a particular style is lacking in a translation, then the whole job is vein as it will simply appear unnatural.

5. Exaggerating the meaning of words

Sometimes, translators to stress more on something simply exaggerate the meaning of few words that only result in a vague translation. Of course, not every word can be placed anywhere. Each word used in a particular text is used considering its meaning, requirement, and property. If any of these is missing while translating then the whole thing will be pointless. Therefore, it is important that one should avoid exaggeration of technical words and complex sentences.

6. Use of wrong words

Each word has a meaning, but not every meaning can be used in the same context. Translators sometimes use wrong words without bothering with the context. It is important that while translating, one should use correct words, keeping the right context in mind.

7. Being too complex

Another mistake that translators make is using too many complex sentences. Believe it or not, using too many complex sentences does not give a nice appearance to the text. Instead, it unnecessarily complicates the text and makes it difficult to apprehend. Therefore, it is better to use simple and straight sentences to avoid any kind of misunderstanding and error in the text to be translated.

8. Using incorrect phrase

Using incorrect phrases simply changes the meaning of the sentence. Hence, it is important that a person has proper knowledge of phrases and idioms in a specific language so that correct phrases are used while translating.

pointing handTo pan out…..

Here we listed some of the very common mistakes while translating a document from one language to another. Well, “To err is human” but to avoid those errors is human’s job only. Therefore, it is crucial that a translator is experienced and has good knowledge and command over the languages they take translation work for.

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By Bizhan Romani

Dr. Bizhan Romani has a PhD in medical virology. When it comes to writing an article about science and research, he is one of our best writers. He is also an expert in blogging about writing styles, proofreading methods, and literature.

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