10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Nowadays, with the emergence of mobile apps for global communication and Google Translate that help translate automatically in a click, translation seems to be taken for granted. However, translation is barely that easy. In fact, translation is an art that skilled translators have to work hard to achieve.

Below are 10 common travel translation mistakes that you should be aware of if you are planning to translate content or localize your website

Translating the content precisely from one language to another

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Each language has its own syntax, subject-object agreement, and sentence structure. Just translating word by word correctly is not enough to ensure your translation accuracy. The first and foremost important factor to pay close attention to is a linguistic distinction, phraseology between languages, and the etymology of words.

Failing to interpret the intention behind the language

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Big implications can be made when the intention behind a translation is missed. The meaning of a sentence from one language to another can be completely changed by the nuance of the intention even though the translation is technically correct. This mistake can lead to many consequences, in worst cases, it can raise the tensions between countries which can bring them to the brink of war, but normally it will just make the translation be awkward and not make sense.

Considering English (U.S.) to English (U.K.) is going to be exact counterpart

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

The distinctness seems to be exquisite, but they are certainly important. To give an example, when large online retailers use product descriptions for their U.K. market only, there are some differences in spelling or the use of phrases, such as “favourite/ favorite”, and common descriptions “at the back” instead of “to the reverse”. Especially in some cases, some common words can be outrageous slang words.

Not choosing native language speakers

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

A native language speaker can have much help in citing out whether the translation is absolutely correct. A final proofing phase should be set in your project to ensure your translated content brings out the right intention of the language. Slight mistakes can be easily made when you translate the content in a language you do not fully understand.

Not creating a translation memory (TM) or glossary database as you go

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Building a glossary of translated terms along the way can bring a big impact on your work. What you need to do is simply ask your translator to note down terms being used frequently, prominent words, or complicated phrases. By following this method, your future translators can feel easier at work, consistency and no room for error can be ensured.

Translating text while style or tone being ignored

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Translating a poem can be extremely difficult because of its complicated and nuanced nailing tone. This is when the choice of words plays a very important role. For instance, to translate a casual article, common words should be used instead of overly flowery or difficult ones. Or when talking about the essence of a script or a book, the importance of what is being read and how it reads are equal.

The tone being used has a big impact on how marketing content, literary works, or even an article can be interpreted. For example, when the translator uses a formal, official tone to talk about weather trends, the reader might see the situation as more urgent than it actually is and a global storm is forthcoming.

To have a translation content that has a close meaning to the original article, you always need to pay attention to the tone, and communicate your intention clearly to your translator.

Assuming that skilled translation and knowledge of the language equal

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

Translation is more than just translating documents from one language to one another. It is an art form and translators need to have creativity and years of experience to do it extremely well. Even professors can make mistakes despite the fact that they teach a foreign language for a living. 

In some highly content types of translations, technical, medical, or scientific ones to name a few, good translators should both have knowledge of a language and be skilled in that field. For marketing, you might ask translators to have cultural knowledge that resonates with targeted audiences, such as holidays, pop culture, or politics.

Thinking languages never change or evolve

Like any other creation, new words are added up to the dictionary during the year in every language. Therefore, translators as professional students of the languages have to keep themselves updated with new words, new trends, and the changes of the languages.

Neglecting “untranslatable” words or native collocations

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10 Common Travel Translation Mistakes to Avoid

It is understandable that every language is special, and in some cases, slang, common sayings, or buzzwords can work in one language but do not feel right in another. This is when you need a native language speaker’s cheek for you to make sure the meaning is delivered. If not, you might follow HSBC bank’s step when they put the tag line “Assume Nothing” into “Do Nothing” in another country.

Considering numbers are simply numbers, no matter the language

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The meaning of statistics, figures, and numerical information like dates and times, currency, and the metric system might be the same in different countries but the formats to display them can vary. So translators need to pay close attention to numbers and the language being used with them to avoid misinterpretation.

Choosing Professionals to avoid travel translation mistakes

To avoid any travel translation mistakes, you should work with a professional translation provider.

As a trustworthy translation and localization company, GTE Localize is recognized by GoodFirms’ research team as one of the most professional translation services with client reviews.

If you are having a travel translation that needs to be translated, get in touch with GTE Localize experts now to have it completed accurately in a fast turnaround time. 

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