With language translation apps and devices at our fingertips, we are starting to take our ability to communicate with people who do not speak the same language as us for granted.
Through knowledge and context, when listening to a foreign language you only need to understand about 70 percent to get the gist of the message. For example if a native Spanish speaker said ‘esposas’ you would know whether they meant ‘wives’ or ‘handcuffs’ - hopefully!
However, for written documents, not only must the translation be accurate, but it must also sound natural to a local speaker. Literal translations from the original language are rarely sufficient, ‘language adaptation’ is invariably required. Documents need to account for varying rules of structure or grammar, use accurate and appropriate terminology and avoid colloquialisms. Following translation documents, and websites, need to be adapted to prevent pagination problems caused by longer words or sentences. For example a paragraph of seventy words in English may need ninety words in German.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming adept at making machine translations (MT). Google Translate and Babel are popular and easy to use tools for emails, but some aspects of languages do not translate well and need adapting according to the situation.
For example from Google translate English → French → English:
Making technical translations and instructions adds another level of complexity. Not only the language but also the use of technical terms must sound natural.
Our translation and language adaptation services use native language speakers with the commercial experience and technical skills to provide high quality documentation. This enables us to consider cultural and linguistic differences when transforming any text into almost any language. We don’t just translate a text, we also do the fine-tuning of the copy, so that your message will be clear, strong and consistent in every country it reaches.