Written by ForeignExchange Translations on Monday, August 08, 2011
English content that is poorly written, full of colloquialisms and complicated grammatical structures take linguists longer to translate, offer less potential for re-use and is less clear to a target audience of non-native English speakers. We've been offering seminars on writing for translation this year and attendees have found many of the best practices worthwhile. So we've decided to share a few tips in this month's newsletter.
When preparing a document to send for translation:
- Proof for spelling, punctuation, capitalization, section numbering, etc.
- Check proper names, titles, addresses, and names of divisions/institutions/associations. If these are to be translated, the writer should note this.
- Clarify "buzz" words and phrases. Eliminate any sentences and words with possible double meanings, or explain them in a short note.
- Make sure any last-minute author's or editor's changes are legible, clear, and consistent throughout the document.
- If you are authoring in Word, make sure that any comments or Track Changes have been removed/accepted.
- Be consistent - chose one capitalization style.
- Make sure the label in the text matches the button, label, placard, symbol or graphic.
- Every verb must indicate the doer of the action (active voice).
- Avoid contractions and apostrophes.
- Do not invent new terms.
Let us know if you have questions about writing for translation or if you'd like to attend one of our "Writing for Translation" seminars in the future. Just contact us.