As we discussed in our previous article, How to Spot a Poor Translation (and Identify a Good One), there are many things a client takes into consideration when reading a translation and deciding whether it’s a quality product. At our translation company, we do the same. When we receive a translation from one of our translators, we try to read and review the translation through our client’s lenses in order to make sure we deliver a translation that will meet our clients’ expectations.
So here are almost ten things we consider in determining if a translation is good or bad:
(SCRATCHING HEAD) WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
If you cannot understand something by reading the translation alone, and need to resort to the source text to try to figure out what something in the translation means, you may either find that the same ambiguity, lack of clarity, or mistake is in the source text, OR the translation was poor and, in many cases, not only vague but also inaccurate.
YOU’RE NO FRIEND OF MINE
False friends are always tricky. If I read the term actual in English and wonder if the translator actually meant present, something is wrong.