General Guidelines for Translators

Translators, like other professional writers, must keep in mind the three components of the communication triangle—audience, purpose, and message.  Audience is particularly important, since it determines the vocabulary, the complexity of sentence structure, and the level of expertise to expect of the reader.  The original writer’s purpose is also so crucial that the translator should never lose sight of it.  Keeping all the writing consistent with the purpose focuses the ideas and keeps the translation unified in tone, message, and style.  Finally, the message must be clear and accurate with precise language that is appropriate to the topic, the purpose, and the audience.

The more a San Francisco Translation Services workers knows about the subject of the original document, the easier it will be to find vocabulary that is accurate and appropriate.  Also the translator who is knowledgeable of the topic can understand the implications of meaning that are not clear to the translator who knows little about the topic.  If the translator’s knowledge level is low, he/she should research the topic to gain a basic understanding.  This involves far more than consulting a different dictionary or a dictionary with extensive definitions, although in some cases that may be enough.  More likely, it involves finding enough information about the topic to discuss it with some measure of understanding.  Gaining such knowledge may take some time, but the investment will insure that the translation is accurate and the language is appropriate to the subject.

A San Jose Translation Services professional should also take advantage of other readers to insure the integrity of the translation.  Other readers can confirm whether they have the same understanding of the meaning of the document and whether the vocabulary and sentence structure are effective, appropriate, and correct.  Thus additional readers serve as proofreaders and editors.  Translators who take care to follow these guidelines show their respect for their customers and demonstrate their own high standards of professionalism.

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