Avoiding Specious Reasoning

Specious reasoning is misleading since it seems correct at first, but fails to standup to careful analysis.  Thoughts grounded on non-authoritative judgments and random guessing are often considered specious.  Inferences that were developed speciously flop when carefully scrutinized.

Assume, for example, you are Portuguese Translation Manager at a global manufacturing company.  The president of your company has directed you to evaluate the reliability of pre-employment evaluation testing of workers in Portugal and Brazil as a measure of intellect and as an indicator of future employee success. Going over the evidence that you gathered, you discover a strong positive correlation between below average pre-employment evaluation scores and low achievers. After doing so, you substantiate your findings by evaluating and analyzing a solid cross section of trustworthy information sources. Once you substantiate your findings, you determine that you are prepared to conclude that pre-employment evaluation tests are reliable measures of intelligence and predict future employee performance. Unfortunately, your analysis would be misleading unless you could show that:

  1. Only candidates for jobs having a high potential for promotion were given pre-employment tests
  2. Candidates in Portugal and Brazil had later been exposed to the exact same training curriculum at a similar pace.

It’s important for translation services workers to understand that even hard facts are sometimes used to support faulty reasoning.  The data that is gathered must be interpreted correctly, objectively, and within a context that accounts for unforeseen variables.

Making The Final Proofing Edits To Ensure A High Quality Document, Presentation or Translation

When you finally reach the point when you are satisfied with the layout, flow and content of the material you are presenting in your document or presentation then you are ready to start addressing sentence construction, grammar and spelling and other “cosmetic defects”.  Miami certified translators who are employed by the Marketing Analysts Translations, start out by looking for areas that have gaps and require better transitions to glue the sentences together with major thoughts.

Next you should pay close attention to spelling.  As one Tampa Translator found, many word processors are somewhat weak at catching spelling mistakes (particularly in languages other than English), you should rely on your language dictionary to verify the spellings of any work you think could be spelled incorrectly.  Next, review any tables and charts to ensure consistency in the use of formatting, abbreviations, and symbols.  Be on the lookout for any use of headings, bullets, indentations and other style issues that are inconsistent with the rest of your document.  After this, inspect your report for any grammatical problems that can include the incorrect use of punctuation, commas, apostrophes, periods, verbs, subject-verb agreement, sentence fragments and misplaced or dangling modifiers.

Finally, when you are happy with your document or presentation, Jacksonville translators suggest that you make a final inspection and insure that you have followed the proper format that was specified by the client.  Also, keep an eye out for any small mistakes that you may have missed previously and make the necessary edits.  When you have completed the final review, you are ready to submit your project or give your presentation.

How Translators Find Research Information

Language translators who are tasked with conducting research for a client might consult with the client or co-workers during the information discovery stage of the project.  Often certified translators find it is particularly helpful to have someone that they can discuss the project with.  It’s also helpful to review the organization of reports and presentations that other translators have produced that are similar to the one that is being planned.  Reviewing these reports and presentations can provide useful details by suggesting details the translator will need to prepare the report or presentation.  In other cases, previous reports could direct the professional translator to specific sources and websites that might be good resources for facts and figures.  Of course, the translator’s own specialized training or knowledge might also provide an added strength during the discovery process.  Since your coworkers and other business contacts can be a valuable source of data, you should turn to them when needed.

Since you are tasked with the project, you will need to count on your own ideas that are grounded in your education, training and personal experiences. However, if you have difficulty coming up with data to answer your research problem then you will need to turn to more formalized research. The more formal types of research involve the review of published works that can come from a variety of sources and will build-on your own ideas. This process will entail literature reviews from books, magazines and the internet.  Other types of formal research can include analytical research using sophisticated experimentation or sampling techniques that make use of questionnaires, surveys or highly structured interviews of experts in the field.


Over the past several months, the composition process has received the greatest emphasis on this blog because, typically, it’s the least developed communication skill. However, your career and your usefulness in business or industry as a translator also depend on your skills as a speaker, a reader, and a listener. Over the next few blog posts, our contributors will briefly review these skills so you can begin to incorporate them in your professional development.


A major part of your workday will be spent talking with others. A Miami translation services firm found in a recent study on the work patterns of international executives and managers that “meetings, in person and by telephone, are the commonest form of professional activity.”  These consume an average of 46 percent of the work day. Evaluation of your oral skills begins with your first interview and continues throughout your career. How well you speak reflects upon your firm’s image as surely as your writing. Simply put, companies do not want their images tarnished by employees who sound illiterate or who have difficulty thinking on their feet. Although dialects (local speech patterns) differ from region to region, educated people nonetheless are expected to speak clearly and to follow the rules of standard English. For better or worse, you are labeled and categorized by your speech pattern.

Improving Your Speaking Skills. Over the next several blog posts, you will find that the guidelines that our Tampa translation workers provide for clear writing also hold for clear speaking. For instance, it’s as important to follow a persuasive plan when you’re organizing a persuasive speech as it is when you’re writing to persuade someone. Therefore, adapt what you learn about writing to your speaking habits.

In addition, a Jacksonville translator recommends that translators and other professionals respond to questions and participate in group discussions as much as possible. Such activities will give you practice in impromptu deliveries. While speaking, concentrate on avoiding distracting and annoying habits, such as interspersing your talk with ya know, okay, see, um, ah, or ya know what I mean. Pronounce your words carefully and avoid dropping word endings. Listen to yourself speaking. If you find that difficult, record some of your conversations in meetings and other professional settings.

The Composition Process

While writing your first draft, try not to panic about getting every detail correct. A number of experienced certified Miami translators recommend that managers and translators who are composing professional communication pieces write down your thoughts as fast as possible. You can always find time to change and improve the content in the future. Writing is generally fairly simple once you have determined what you will say and the order you will present it in, however you will want to stop every once in a while to look up the appropriate word. You will also learn in the process that you are able to expand upon the outline. Go ahead and move around, remove, and include ideas, provided that you never forget your purpose.

Should you be composing the draft in longhand, Tampa translation workers suggest that writers include enough room between lines to ensure that there is adequate space to make revisions. If you happen to be typing, include wide margins and make use of double-spacing. Almost certainly the preferred products for composing the communication is a computer and word processing application, which lets you to effortlessly make adjustments. As an alternative, you could try dictating the message using a voice recognition application, especially if you happen to be rehearsing for an oral delivery or if you’re attempting to produce a conversational style.

Style refers to manner that words are used to accomplish a particular tone, or impression. A Jacksonville translator notes that a writer can adjust the style-sentence structure and vocabulary-to sound forceful or passive, personal or impersonal, colorful or colorless. The right choice depends on the nature of the message and the relationship with the reader.

Your use of language is one of your credentials, a badge that identifies you as being a member of a particular group. Although your style should be clear, concise, and grammatically correct, it should also conform to the norms of your group. Every organization has its own stylistic conventions, and many occupational groups share a particular vocabulary.

While style is often polished throughout the revision stage, you will conserve time and prevent a large amount of rewriting if you write in an suitable style. Prior to writing, concentrate on the part you’re playing, your objective, and the likely reaction of your readers. Each one of these factors impact the tone of a message.

Examining Your Client’s Target Audience

When you feel certain that you have a concrete and apparent purpose, it’s recommended that you spend some additional time researching the expected target audience. Here are a few questions that senior Houston Translation Services workers ask: Who will be the target, what are their positions, and what does the target audience want to find out? The responses to these queries reveal important information concerning the content you should address and the best method to present it.

Creating An Audience Description
In case you are contacting a person you or your client knows, it might be a manager in another country or an employee of with a parts supplier, the audience description will be fairly simple. However, in the case your target audience is composed of a crowd of unknown people, you or your client will be required to do some research and apply good judgment to predict their questions.

What is the quantity and makeup of the target audience?
Larger audiences always respond differently than smaller audiences and demand a number of different communication strategies. As an example, if Carrie Clark, a Tampa Certified Translation worker, was delivering a presentation to 400 managers, she will need to restrict the level of audience engagement; answering questions from such a massive audience might become disorderly and unmanageable. If she were composing an article for mass circulation, she could decide on a more conventional approach, design, and structure than she would if the article were targeted at just a few individuals on her team.

At the same time, the bigger the target audience, the greater the variety of educational levels, statuses, and attitudes is likely to be. This implies that professional translators must seek the common denominators that connect the target audience together. Simultaneously, you need to address the specific issues that are important to the audience. The director of sales wants different details regarding the topic than the director of operations or finance wants. You should combine a number of facts that draw from each member of the audience’s particular area of interest.

How To Test The Purpose Of Your Translation Work

As soon as you are aware of your client’s purpose, stop for a minute and think if it is important enough to pursue. Think about these questions:

• Is the objective reasonable? You are unable to perform wonders in a single day. A lot of Miami Translation Services workers avoid change, and when their client’s objective requires a major change in direction or mindset, you will have a significantly better chance for success by going slowly. Rather than recommending your client’s complete plan at one time, think about breaking it up and only suggesting the initial stage. Examine your client’s message as being the introduction of an informative process.

• Is it the ideal occasion? As many experienced Tampa Translation workers know, the right time is essential in sending any correspondence. A concept that seems undesirable when earnings are declining, for instance, might quickly secure approval when earnings rebound. If a business is going through transformations of some type, your client might choose to delay his communication until the corporate climate steadies and people can focus on his recommendations.

• Is the objective best suited individual presenting the message? Despite the fact that your client might have completed all the work on his own, his supervisor might stand a better opportunity of carrying out results as a result of his elevated rank in the company. If this describes the situation, your client may choose to have his supervisor present the message. Accomplishing his goal is far more significant than getting the credit. Eventually, individuals will acknowledge the caliber of your client’s labor. Furthermore, you should remember that some individuals are just far better writers or speakers than other individuals. When the stakes are high and your client is deficient in expertise or self-assurance, your client will want to perform an encouraging role instead of taking the lead.

• Is the objective correct for the business? As your client’s professional Houston translator, you are required to work towards your client’s company objectives. Suppose your client is a customer service manager who answers letters from customers and that he received a truly abusive letter from a non-English speaking customer. Your client’s initial reaction might be to have you fire back an angry reply that defends the organization. But the management may prefer that you regain the customer’s goodwill. Your response should reflect the organization’s priorities.

The Criteria For A Powerful Proposal

Foreign readers will evaluate your proposal according to how clearly the author answers their questions about what, why, how, when and how much and how clearly the translator translates the material. An effective proposal is clear, informative, and realistic and conforms to the following guidelines.

An experienced Tampa Translation worker may format a short proposal into a letter or memo format depending on whether they are internal or external.  Longer memos or letters, however, are more easily read if headings are used. Sometimes authors even include appendices for support material (maps, blueprints, specifications, calculations, and so on) that would interrupt the text.  Therefore, as a translation worker who is occasionally asked to translate proposals, you should be familiar with using applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and other image editing applications.

While short proposals will serve many purposes, some projects call for a long format design. And different readers inside and outside your organization will be interested in different parts of your proposal: some need only a summary; others already know about the problem and will want only your plan; others want all the details. Or perhaps the company requesting proposals will specify a certain format and supplements. Such cases may call for a long proposal that, like the formal report, has various supplements. A number of Philadelphia translation services workers realize that an abstract consisting of a statement of the problem and causes, a description of proposed solutions, and an assessment of the plan’s feasibility is particularly important to nontechnical readers.

Since the decision makers are busy executives who appreciate clarity, a proposal should start with a title that is absolutely clear about the intent.  If your client is submitting a proposal concerning improvements to a canal system in Angola, the heading shouldn’t be “Recommended Improvements”.  Instead, make the recommendation that your client use “Recommended Canal System Improvements.”  Portland translation services workers suggest that the goal should be to come up with specific titles that represent the specifics of a detailed proposal.

Design your proposal to reflect your attention to detail. A hastily typed and assembled proposal suggests to readers the writer’s careless attitude toward the project in general. Avoid, however, any “decorations,” such as flashy covers, colored paper, or catchy titles. Keep layout, typeface, and bindings conservative and tasteful.

Writing and Translating Reports For International Business Managers

Reports present ideas and facts to international managers who use them to make informed decisions. The short report’s purpose is to communicate concisely. Depending on the subject, your client’s needs, and your client’s company’s policy, you might record your data in memo form, letter form, or on a prepared form.

Letter reports are often translated by Tampa Translation professional to communicate information to people outside the client’s organization. They therefore follow a standard letter format, with the addition of a subject line and headings as needed.

Memorandum reports, the most common form of in-house communication, follow a fixed format. Generally, when consulting with clients and translating these reports a Baltimore Translation worker will recommend the liberal use of headings and itemized lists to guide readers through the report.

Unlike most reports, justification reports, written to suggest changes in policy or procedures, are typically initiated by the writer rather than authorized or requested by someone else. As described n the previous blog entry by a translator with The Marketing Analysts Translation Company, justification reports list recommendations, benefits, and conclusions before providing discussion, details, and the means used to arrive at the conclusions.

Progress reports are informational reports that help supervisors keep track of activities, problems, and progress on various projects. Whereas progress reports summarize project accomplishments, periodic reports summarize daily, weekly, or monthly work routines.

Miscellaneous reports follow no specific conventions, since their data are so variable that no conventions can serve as adequate guidelines. Organize the information in such reports to best answer the questions readers are likely to ask.

An Introduction: Direct Mail and E-Mail Marketing Using Translation Services

Direct mail marketing uses the mail to sell goods or services through e-mail, letters, catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, postcards or any printed material sent by mail to attract consumers.

Direct mail selling is a multibillion-dollar enterprise.  According to the Direct Mail/Marketing Association, in 1982 direct mail selling accounted for $40 billion in sales, or 4-percent of all retail sales.  Companies such as L.L. Bean, Neiman-Marcus, Land’s End, and Hammacher Schlemmer do the majority of their business through catalog sales and internet.  Sears, Roebuck and Company began its $18 billion yearly retail business by mailing its popular catalog to rural populations.  Sear’s catalogs were successful because they targeted a specific market (i.e., rural) that had no easy access to large stores.

According to Tampa Translation Services, direct mail and e-mail selling has increased dramatically because of its convenience and ability to reach non-English speaking markets at affordable rates.  Not only do consumers have the convenience of at-home comparison shopping, but they can also buy specialty items not found locally, in their local language—anything from bulletproof vests to buffalo steaks.

This week, we will be focusing on one form of direct mail selling: sales letters and e-mails.