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Rules to Follow While Translating Your Documents into English

Posted by Ethan N. on April 13, 2023.

There could be various reasons to translate a document into another language, such as English. For example, maybe you are planning to immigrate to another country where the official language is English. Another reason could be submitting legal documents for a lawsuit or any other purpose. Finally, you may think of expanding your business globally, and English is one of the most spoken languages worldwide. 

Hence, you may need to translate your business proposal, partnership document, or any other document related to business affairs into English.

All the aforementioned reasons lead to the translation of documents into English. You may think of various ways to translate your documents into English, but you should keep a few rules in mind while doing so. 

Following these rules will help you avoid any issues that may arise because of inaccurate translations of documents. 

We have discussed a few translation rules in this article to help you ensure the accurate translation of your documents. If you want to learn more about these rules, read this article until the end to get some valuable takeaways. Further details are given below:

Preliminary Research is Necessary

Some people may not consider it essential, but preliminary research is necessary when translating a valuable document. You need to be fully aware of the nature of the document and the type of text used in it. You also need to be sure about the audience targeted by the document you want to translate from another language into English. 

Being aware of the type of document is also essential. For example, the translation of legal documents will be different from others. Additionally, knowing all these things will help you know the context of the document and translate it into English accordingly to avoid any misconception and miscommunication due to inaccurate translation.

Simplify the Document Before the Translation

Another thing you need to ensure is the simplification of the document before translating it into English. The process of simplification is quite simple. You just have to eradicate the complicated stuff from the document. The process includes the removal of jargon, slang, and humour from the document. Doing so will help you translate the content easily.

Elements like jargon, humor, and slang change from language to language. Hence, translating such material may lead to miscommunication because of cultural differences and basic language rules. Additionally, translating these elements from one language to another, be it English or any other language, is highly difficult and may take significant effort and time. 

Consistent Vocabulary is Key

Some people may try to take the help of advanced technology to translate documents from one language to another, such as English. However, this practice doesn’t ensure 100% accuracy. In addition, the change of individual words can lead to significant problems. Hence, human translation is the best way to translate important and confidential documents.

The problem with human translation, however, is variable vocabulary. If you want to overcome this problem, you must ensure consistent vocabulary throughout the translated content. It is only possible when you keep a standard glossary in hand and take its help to translate the document accurately. This practice will help you establish a standard glossary for business, legal, and professional terms.

Ensure Proper Grammar

Whether you are writing content from scratch or translating it from one language to another, such as English, it is necessary to ensure proper grammar. The absence of proper grammar in the document will make it difficult for others to understand the actual meaning. Additionally, the clarity of translated documents will be seriously compromised. Vague sentences will likely become a part of translated content because of poor grammar. 

Hence, whether a document is translated with the help of AI or the translation is done humanly, you should ensure proper grammar in it. You may try to do it manually, but there will be chances of mistakes in the document. Therefore, you should take the help of an advanced AI-based grammar check tool for this purpose. Such a tool will help you identify and rectify grammar mistakes.

Avoid False Cognates and Spelling Mistakes

Another basic rule often ignored by the masses while translating documents is spelling mistakes and the presence of false cognates. False cognates are words that give similar voices but are used in individual languages for different meanings. Hence, you must be sure about such instances to avoid miscommunication. 

You also need to ensure the translated document has no spelling mistakes. For example, there are chances of using homonyms with a similar voice but separate meanings. Using such words can change the meaning of an entire sentence or paragraph. Hence, go through the translated content to ensure there are no spelling mistakes.