5 Easy Mistakes to Make When Reviewing a German English Translation

Writing Mistakes

Language translation has become an important part of every international business in these days of increasing globalisation, but this doesn’t always mean it is taken seriously enough. In the end, if you are the business organisation requesting a translation service, whether it is a German English translation or any other language translation, you are ultimately responsible for the quality of the completed document, website, manual or whatever it is that you have had translated. The following is a list of 5 common mistakes that you should be aware of when you review your translation.

1. Who did the translation?

Did you use a professional German translator, e.g. one that is NAATI accredited if in Australia or the equivalent elsewhere. That is the best way to make sure standards are acceptable. It is a common mistake to use a bilingual speaker who is ready to do a translation “on the cheap”, but in fact does not have the training as a translator.

2. Did the translation service provider have access to modern translation software and technology?

If you are going to use the same provider again then it is wise to have discussed what facilities the translator has available. Quite often a lot of translation work is repetitive and such equipment as translation memory software can cut down on repeat translation time. A good translation provider should also be able to use or even compile for you a style guide and glossary. This would certainly cut down your review time, too.

3. Was there sufficient information provided to the translator?

There is no point in reviewing a translated document or piece of text and finding out it isn’t quite the way you wanted it. Most translators depend on you, the client, providing them with sufficient information so they can do their job properly.

4. Did you ensure that the translation was sufficiently localised?

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that the international clients or customers they are dealing with are a carbon copy of themselves. Good translations, especially ones that are used for marketing and websites information, should be thoroughly “localised”. This means that the German translation service provider, or whatever the language requirement is, understands the language, dialect and culture of the people who are going to read the material. Translation history is full of funny and not so funny errors caused by a lack of localisation!

5. Did you thoroughly proofread the translation before sending it off or using it?

Last but not least is to check the work carefully yourself before letting it out for use. Of course, you may not be able to check the translated text yourself unless you are bilingual, but you should be able to spot major errors.