Using Visuals In Your Translation Projects

A visual is any pictorial representation used to clarify a discussion.  For some translators who specialize in certain fields such as economics and finance, their document translation assignments will contain quantitative data, and therefore, they should be able to recommend strategies to clients on how to present that data in the clearest, fastest and most comprehensive way.  The common visual aids used are tables and figures.  Figures include graphs, charts, diagrams, photographs and sample material.

An experienced Philadelphia Chinese Translator, visuals attract attention and increase reader understanding by emphasizing certain information.  Translate pros into visuals whenever you can, as long as the visuals make your point more clearly than the prose does.  Use visuals to clarify your discussions, not simply to decorate it.  And keep them simple.

Visuals work in several ways to improve your report:

  1. They increase reader interest by providing a view more vivid and clear than a prose equivalent.  They are easier to follow and grasp.  A visual satisfies the reader’s demand to be shown.
  2. They set off and emphasize significant data.  A bar graph showing that the price per word charged by New York Italian Translation companies has dropped 50-percent in four years is more dramatic than a prose statement.  Some readers, in fact, might only skim the prose in a report, concentrating instead on the visuals.
  3. They condense information.  A simple table, for instance can often replace a long and difficult prose passage.
  4. Certain visuals (tables, charts and graphs) can pull together data on the basis of their similarities and contrasts.  Visuals can be great time-savers for readers.

A full-scale study of visuals would require a course in drafting and technical illustration.

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