Even the most professional translators make common mistakes in legal translation. So, any sort of document translation is a technical and complex task that requires precision, skills, and obviously an outstanding command of written language in two languages at least.
It involves an outstanding understanding of terminologies, idioms and syntax, and even the region’s culture where a particular language is used. Therefore, it is true whether it is a translation of a transcript or any other.
Translators usually find it difficult to do an excellent translation job either they are completely aware of the job’s requirements or they are still new.
Some common mistakes translators make in the legal translation:
- Ineffective communication
If your communication with the client is not good, then there can be misinterpretations from both sides. There is a possibility that they might not be able to understand your constraints, and you might not get their requirements properly.
However, it is tremendously important that you should maintain a good communication channel with the client, and you should not hesitate to get all of your queries clear. It will assist you in doing a good legal translation job.
- Word to word translation
The demand of this job is to translate the source document into the target document without changing the text’s meaning, not to do a word-for-word translation. Therefore, when you do word-to-word translation, the resulting text might not make much sense.
In some languages, each and every syntax or sentence construction has its own style, the adjective’s placement might be different; the rule of subject-verb agreement might differ; in other ones, those objects which are non-living are assigned gender, which can’t be done in English; there is a possibility gender allotted in 2 languages which can differ as well.
For example; In German, it’s not motherland – it is the fatherland and so on. Therefore, if you are translating word for word, then you need to deal with idiomatic expressions very carefully, it is also possible that it might not mean anything close to the real one.
- Use of incorrect words
Usually, it happens with inexperienced translators; mostly, they use words in the wrong context. So, there are particular phrases, jargon, and words that simply have no equivalence in the target language; in these cases, it is good for leaving the real term as it is rather than creating something because you feel each and every single word should be translated!
- Exaggeration of word meanings
Normally, translators are attracted to go over the best in making an effort to look diligent. However, it is not necessary when the documents which have been translated are sprinkled with technical and complicated terms, and particularly, it is not appreciated. In conclusion, it is essential to understand what the client actually requires and then proceed exactly according to that.
You have to keep the language simple as you can if it is going to be used for personal use or it’s a manual or a guide. Further, if it is a literary work and it has to be published then ask for guidelines as to the standard of publishing demands.
- Incorrect use of style and tone
It is tremendously essential to know that each and every sort of document or file has a particular style of scripting. So, if you are unaware of the suitable style, then translated document can be a disaster.
For example, You cannot translate a medical transcription job and a movie script or a legal document in the same manner. Each of these consists of its own different styles. As a result of this, if you do not use the suitable style then translated document will look lifeless.
The right tone is tremendously essential. Even from language to language, punctuations can fluctuate as well. It is tremendously essential to understand the variations of each and every language for doing the work appropriately.
Another important thing you have to keep in your mind is time and date formats. These things might look small but they can make a big difference.
- Using a language, you are not an expert in
You have to be really expert in the language you are going to translate from and translating to, in order to do the work appropriately. If you accept some work for translating or from the language you know very well but are not actually an expert in, you will definitely make some translation mistakes in it. Moreover, it will affect your future opportunities and your reputation as well.
- Accepting more work than you can manage
On average, most expert translators can manage about 2000 words per day; this number can definitely vary based on the time required for the research. Meanwhile, there is no justification in accepting plenty of work and then not being able to provide its delivery as decided.
It is always important to over-deliver and underpromises rather than vice versa. Therefore, your health will suffer as well apart from your work suffering, you will be exhausted and you might even get stressed as well. Further, it can lead you to irreversible translation errors or mistakes.
- Accepting documents that are not in your specialized field
This is tremendously important.
For example, A heart specialist will not accept patients with say eye problems. Therefore, just like that, a translator should accept only that work which is under the topics you are aware of. So, experience leads you to proficiency and it will let you do outstanding work in the topics of your specialization.
Some people may specialize in legal documents, others in literary works translation, perhaps in technical documents, some in medical transcripts, and others in film scripts. So, you require specialization of plus subject and accept work only where you have specialization in both.
- Not maintain yourself
Just like the technology which develops all the time, language is developing as well; new terms, idioms, catchphrases, or words keep on making their appearances. It is essential to stay well informed about these developments so that you can use them in your translation work in a suitable way.
Constant learning is essential for translators so that you do not face any difficult situations when you see an unknown word. Moreover, knowing the drawbacks assist you in avoiding them. So, you have to concentrate on where you can do anything wrong, and you have to make sure you don’t make any mistakes in your translation services.