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6 Challenges That Education Translators Must Handle

Posted by Ethan N. on August 23, 2023.

The rise in academic papers, scientific publications, and educational documents in their own language may reflect the challenges that education translators have to face recently. It calls for an understanding of the subject matter as well as the appropriate writing and abstracting styles. 

Let’s take a closer look at 6 difficulties that you should know when dealing with education translation services. 

1. Adapting to Different Educational Systems and Standardized Testing


There are many different kinds of papers and circumstances when translation or interpreting services may be necessary. Handbooks, IEPs, and parent notifications are a few documents that have to be translated.

Manuals may frequently be translated by simply making the necessary adjustments from year to year if they are continuously translated by the same education translators. Additionally, linguists can serve as a second editor in addition to being the translator. A trustworthy service will contact to check the facts when anything doesn’t seem correct rather than translating it.

2. Taking On Innovations Within Various Paradigms

When the original academic content contains advancements, things typically grow harder. Making the translation adhere to the nation’s or a particular institution’s current academic norms is clearly a huge problem. 

It presents particular difficulties since the most common denominator must be reached using the same variables so that instructors may readily adopt suggested advances. The education translator’s job is to make the translations understandable for teachers without unnecessarily complicating them. It is often accomplished by making mention of comparable research works or the educational standards in effect in the nation.

3. Accounting for Cultural Nuances

Language is seen as a piece of cultural heritage, and culture and language are intimately intertwined. The values, beliefs, habits, and traditions of the speakers of a language are reflected in it. 


Understanding the cultural values and beliefs of the intended audience is equally necessary if education translators have to work with literature or academic work. For instance, readers in an Eastern culture may not connect with a novel on love and relationships published in Western culture because of the disparity in their values and beliefs around these topics. These cultural distinctions must be understood by translators, who must then modify their work accordingly.

Another significant factor to take into account when translating education files is the social and political environment. A work that tackles touchy subjects like politics, religion, or race might need to be modified to fit the cultural standards of the intended readership. In order to avoid offending someone or misrepresenting the cultural background, translators must be mindful of these concerns.

4. Maintaining The Right Tone And Flow

Any brand must have a certain tone. It’s a constant way of connecting with your audience, to put it simply. It distinguishes your company from rivals and enables more intimate interactions with clients. Slogans and taglines, website material, blogs, advertising campaigns, and other customer-facing communications all fall under the category of tone of voice when handling any education translation services.

Education translators must accurately replicate the same tone of voice in the target language to convey a brand’s message. That necessitates taking into account several aesthetic elements, such as diction, formality level, and tone of voice. 

Other elements like humor, slang, and cultural allusions can likewise be challenging, or perhaps impossible, to accurately reproduce. When this occurs, a translator may swap out a joke, colloquialism, or allusion with one that is more appropriate for the target culture.

5. Choosing The Appropriate Voice

One of the major issues for education translators is finding the correct tone for your article.

But this feature is frequently disregarded. Clients totally forget how they want to reach their audience since they are so preoccupied with the budget and delivery date. All of your content and platforms should have a uniform communication style. Additionally, the age and profession of your target audience affect your tone of voice.

For instance, when speaking with parents, one might adopt a more official tone, yet when speaking with students, a more casual, laid-back tone would be appropriate.

A proficient linguist will make sure that the communication tone is appropriate for the target audience’s culture and is consistent with it.

For instance, titles and formal/informal addressing are quite important in German-speaking nations. People in other nations, including the US, adopt a more laid-back attitude.

6. Translating Idioms, Metaphors, And Similes


6.1. Idioms

An idiom is a group of words with an established order and a meaning that differs from the meaning of each word separately. Idioms must be identified correctly by education translators. This necessitates a thorough comprehension of the cultural and linguistic subtleties of the target audience. 

Some idioms, however, don’t have an equivalent in another language. When such occurs, a translator has two options: either paraphrase it or leave it as is and include a footnote with a rough translation.

6.2. Metaphors And Similes

A metaphor substitutes one term for another to imply similarity while similar purposes are served by similes, which usually begin the phrase with the words like or as. Metaphors and similes frequently have cultural connotations, much like other figures of speech. This implies that translators must find a phrase in the target language that has a comparable meaning.

Unfortunately, the target language doesn’t always have a similar expression. And when there are notable contrasts between the two cultures, this is more likely to be the case. When this occurs, education translators may make an effort to be inventive and develop a term that can capture the original meaning. To ensure that the translation maintains cultural sensitivity, they must take extra precautions.

7. Tight Deadline With Education Translator

In the translation profession, problems might arise from failing to produce finished work on time and agreeing on project deadlines. Remember that proper education translation takes time, and having to redo work that was poorly translated slows you down, before making promises of lightning-fast turnaround times.

This problem can be solved by using a per-hour price structure rather than a per-word one. This places complete responsibility for delivering flawless, multilingual material to the customer within the specified time limit, if not sooner, on the translation supplier.

Finally, using machine learning to accelerate translation time is a feasible choice. AI-powered software automates manual procedures and enhances the productivity and intelligence of human translators.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, in order to solve the most typical translation issues, education translators need to be knowledgeable about the intricacies of language and culture. Despite ongoing advancements, working with qualified linguists will probably be the most necessary for you to get the translation quality that you want.

To handle every translation difficulty, GTE Localize combines cutting-edge technology with a network of top-tier human translators. We effectively communicate your educational message across all languages, from website localization to outstanding multilingual content. Our team has successfully handled many education projects, one of them is the WeSchool case study with around 37,000 translated and reviewed words in only two months.


To learn more about our top notch education translation solutions, get in touch with us right away.