Finding a competent translator is key. When you need a translator, you want someone you can depend on to tell your audience what you are expressing. You need someone who not only can read, write, and speak your language, but they also need to know the culture that goes with it.
Here are three ways in which translators make mistakes, but won’t always admit to them.
Choosing the Wrong Value of a Word
The word love in English has multiple meanings, one word with many meanings. In other languages such as Greek, there are multiple words for the meanings of love (agape, eros, philia, and storge). While translating, your translator may use the wrong form of the word love, and not correct themselves to avoid issues. You may be telling someone that you love them in a brotherly way, and it may be interpreted in a more intimate way. This will cause confusion to your audience.
There are phrases in each culture that have historical meanings behind them. Your translator needs to understand your culture, its nuances, and any new trends. In English history the word gay used to mean ‘a happy person or a carefree person’. Today the word gay is redefined as ‘homosexual’. Using an old definition for a word that has taken on a new meaning, could result in big trouble. Your translator needs to look at the big picture of your sentences, not do a word for word translation of what you are saying.
Not Sharing in the Correct Style
It makes a difference who you audience is. When you speak to a family member or friend, you speak in a casual style. When you speak to a business professional, proper speech is needed. Written translation has a more formal style of its own. Your translator may not be verse in changing styles. If you are saying something to your spouse’s father who speaks another language, you would want to be respectful, but casual. Visa versa, if you are speaking to a business associate, you would want your words translated in the formal professional tone in which you are using. Translators are not always capable of distinguishing in between these styles as good as they let on.
Find a translator that is open to taking queries and answering them with expertise. For your diploma translation or other translation needs, you need a translator with experience, but more importantly a teachable, cooperative attitude.