Translation errors types

4 Typical Translation Errors You Need to Avoid

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2019)

Common translation errors

When translation errors occur they can cause some major problems. The problems can be large or small depending upon the situation. There are historical stories about countries being signed over, heads of state saying things in another language that have been interpreted incorrectly, mostly to the amusement of everyone involved, but not so much in other cases. This list should help translators avoid making these mistakes which do not happen when you employ a professional translation company in USA.

False Cognates

These translation errors are words that look similar in the two languages but actually have different meanings. You don’t want to use these in the wrong context, because sometimes the actual meaning can be horribly wrong. This is the type of translation error that a lower quality translator wouldn’t be aware of.

Picking the wrong word

Sometimes this is done because the first definition looks correct but it could be a case of how the word is being used and what for. So sometimes there will be a word that seems like it’s the correct word but perhaps you may not use the word in a conversation about an inanimate object. As is the case in many languages, context is very important. This is one of the translation errors that could cost clients.

Word by word translation

Another typical translation error is a translator trying to translate a document piece by piece. But it’s much better if you take in the document as a whole because then there is context and meaning in the whole document that is harder to divine if it is read in bits in pieces.

Final edit

And the last translation error is that of not doing a final edit after you have translated a document. This is a crucial step because the tiny little details are noticed and can reflect badly on you and it shows a lack of care and attention to detail. In the freelance word every little detail counts.

When you embark upon your career as a translator try to remember that you don’t want to be the one with loads of translation errors, pay attention to everything you translate, and go over it all with a fine tooth comb and add punctuation if necessary and then you do it again. You wouldn’t want to become known as the person who makes translation errors do you?

a translation error

Translation Errors

Translation is a process that requires special knowledge, skills and professional training to give a high-quality output to the client. Since humans do it, it is normal to err. There are translation errors all over the area: Street marks, banners, store names, and so forth. Some websites have blog articles showcasing grammar errors from sticky notes to advertisements.

When translating texts, especially longer or more complex ones, it is possible to make an error. It might be due to the difficulty of the subject, short deadlines, lack of knowledge of either the client or the translator.
Every written text is designed with the intention to communicate a particular message. Therefore, the client would like to express the same idea in the foreign language and that is the job of a professional translator. Even though the translation is more focused on finding the exact word match, its primary goal is to convey the error free message.

Why is it so crucial to hire a good translator or translation agency? It is a myth to believe the power of translation lies in the understanding of a few foreign languages. Choose a professional translator even if you need to translate only a few words for a slogan. This investment will pay off.

Translation errors are normal enough even without mixing languages and contexts. But when the stakes are high, the accuracy of words have made history in more ways than one. The best way to avoid costly translation errors is to have your documents translated by professionals. This ensures that documents are made correctly and will be able to withstand a thorough review. Remember, while high-quality translation services may be costlier, they are still far cheaper than translation errors that can cost you millions.

If you need a translation, never avoid qualified translators and translation quality assurance tools.

Translation errors and risks
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