Translation Options for Translating a Document

Today, people around the world share all types of information and in a variety of different media. However, it is not always in a language that is fully understood. You may access information on a website which really needs a NAATI certified professional translators before a full understanding of the content is possible. For example, you may see an interesting image which is reviewed in a language you don’t fully understand. Or you may have bought a product while overseas and its manual is written in a language you are not familiar with. Whatever the document is about and whatever language it is in, there are various tools available which can enable you to carry out a useful document translation so that you understand at least the gist of it.

Apart from hiring a NAATI professional translation service to unravel the meaning there are some free web tools available for you to use. So far, Google Translate has been proven to be the most useful tool. The reason for this is that without too much of a problem a complete web page can be translated without the need to copy and paste it into another context. It also supports a surprising number of languages and the tool is constantly improving the quality of its translations

WorldLingo is a great translator that can be found online and is nearly as good as Google translate but does not offer as many languages. It is grammar is not nearly as good as a professional translation but it does offer a reasonable idea of what a text is all about. SDL FreeTranslation offers a bit more than other translation tools as if you are prepared to pay it can organise a professional document translation. With just a single click, an estimate can often be provided of the cost of a human professional document translation.

You may not have discovered this translation tool as it hidden behind the review tab in Microsoft Office. You can select a language and get the gist of a document to keep you going until you are able to find a professional NAATI translator.

Most of the online tools for undertaking translations are perfect to get an idea about the meaning of words and phrases but they don’t have the capacity to perform in depth translations especially when it comes to getting the translation just right.

2 Tips for Handling Global Foreign Language Documents

Today, globalisation is embedded in both the individual and business worlds. That means that documents that are written in foreign languages are commonplace on our desktops, both virtual and the real time office desk too. It gets to a point when if we are unable to translate this overwhelming amount of data something has to be done. If you run a business you might be missing out on valuable customers. If you are an individual you could miss the best price for a sought after garment.

One of the main things you can do to ease the impact of this overflow of words you don’t understand is to think in a multilingual context. Don’t shrug off this aspect of globalisation because it’s not going to go away in the near future at least.

Tip #1 Multilingual thinking is the way to go

Once your document stockpile in a foreign language whether paper or virtual has got far too much you should seek out an experienced NAATI translator who understands the language of the documents you need to handle. You can get this translator to skim through each document in turn and give a summary in your own language so you can select the documents that are of most use to you and need a comprehensive document translation.

A NAATI translation is different from your average translation because to be awarded that status rigorous testing takes place before the translator can add NAATI to his or her name. The NAATI translator will know how to fast-track your documents by seeking out significant keywords which will be presented to you.

Tip #2 Consider the translation options

There are different methods used for translating such as machine translators but they may be okay for quick summaries that may not be totally accurate unless the translator has been programmed with all the word usages and idioms used in your type of industry. They don’t always convey the complete meaning of a sentence and often omit key words that cannot be found in their programmed dictionaries. It is a low cost choice, but basically unreliable if the full meaning of a document is sought.

In the end, a professional translation service anywhere in Australia is a cost effective translation solution as it hits the nail on the head first time round.

A Translation Glossary is a Worthwhile Investment

You might have heard about the use of translation glossaries but think you don’t need one or wonder why they are supposed to be beneficial. Imagine you asked a simple question to someone from Australia, Canada, the U.S., Britain, South Africa and India. Guess what? Each answer is likely to be different, or more specifically, the answers will all be similar, but not exactly the same. They won’t be consistent. Now apply this to a translation task. Imagine each person was a translator and they were all given the same text to translate. The translated text is likely to be different from one person to the next. That’s one of the main goals of a translation glossary. It maintains consistency in the style as well as the vocabulary of translated text.

A translation glossary is particularly useful for any larger scale translation service in Australia where different translators are employed, whether they are in house or are freelancers working from home. The glossary defines the preferred choice of words and phrases to be used during translation and avoids the sort of inconsistency when several different translators are used to translate material for one particular client. The more extended the relationship between the translation service and client, the more important that consistency is achieved.

What else is a glossary useful for?

Translation services in Melbourne and across Australia as well as many other parts of the world have discovered there is more to developing a glossary apart from achieving a more consistent translation, even if that is one of the main aims. Glossaries also help to make translation faster as well as cheaper. A good glossary can help to protect a brand, especially when the marketing translation is involved.

By avoiding confusion, a good glossary helps translators avoid spending time trying to work out which term to use when it comes to translating a particular batch of text. This means faster translation times. Immediately, this means that the whole task is going to be cheaper for the client as the faster and smoother the translation task, then the cheaper it is going to be.

Branding is really important and there is no pint in trying to translate a brand name or slogan word for word as it will then be harder to recognise. Brands are international. Google is Google in Arabic, English, Hindi and Vietnamese! So is an iPad, McDonalds, Nike etc. etc. These are brand names and of course they should be retained whatever the target language used in translation, but some branding slogans are harder to translate without making cultural errors. There have been some famous translation blunders in the past which most translators have heard about. The point here is to retain in the glossary a brand slogan that works for the particular language. Experimentation and alternatives could be dangerous!

Merry Christmas Can be Translated into Many Other Languages


Many countries these days celebrate Christmas in one way or another, even if it is allowing Christians to have a holiday to commemorate this historic occasion. Many countries that are dominated by Islam often have Christians present as well and don’t deny them the right to celebrate in any way they may think fit.

As a result of this widespread recognition of Christmas there are translations into many languages of traditional Christmas greetings, such as “Merry Christmas”. The Chinese have two different translations for Merry Christmas which are???? in Traditional Chinese and ???? in Simplified Chinese. Some people prefer to have a less religious connotation in their greetings and for the phrases “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” ????? is used in Traditional Chinese language, while????? is Simplified Chinese.

Merry Christmas in Danish is Glædelig jul, so if you have some Danish associates or friends there could be nothing better than sending them a greeting in their own language for a change. Don’t forget though that if you were thinking of using Skype to send the message orally you had better learn the pronunciation first otherwise you may not be given such a good impression as you originally thought!

You could get away with using English when offering season’s greetings to your Dutch friends as they have such a good understanding of English anyway and are proud of their great ability in that language, but Merry Christmas Dutch style is Gelukkig Kerstfeest so give them a surprise this year and write it on your e-greeting card. You will bring a smile to their faces at least. Happy holidays or Season’s greetings is Beste Wensen in Dutch if this is your preference. If you are not sure on the pronunciation try immigration translation services in your local town who may have someone to help you with pronunciation.

You may surprise a Finn if you use the Finnish translation of Merry Christmas for your many Finnish associates and friends, as they certainly think that they are the only ones that know their language and they think they are excellent at English too. Merry Christmas in Finnish is Hauskaa joulua. Don’t get the translation wrong if you speak the greeting down your cell phone but check with an English Finnish NAATI translator first who will coach you in how to speak the phrase correctly.

You may have gathered a French following in the past year and want to send Christmas greetings in their own language. Merry Christmas in French is Joyeux Noël or for more general Season’s Greetings Meilleurs vœux. Quite difficult to pronounce if you are not a French native speaker, but you could always ask for pronunciation help from translation services in Brisbane who will always have a native French speaker on hand to assist you.

Tips for a Better Translation

Whether you are an accredited NAATI translator or a newly qualified individual just starting out with your own translation business there are always ways you can improve your translation techniques and provide better document translation services or whatever type of translation you decide to specialize in. Here are five tips for a better translation outcome.

Tip no. 1 Make sure you invest in some good translation equipment

By translation equipment, we don’t necessarily mean translation software or machine translation technology, but more down-to-earth things like a variety of dictionaries. If you intend to specialize in any particular type of document translation services like legal, medical, technical, or scientific translation you are well-advised to invest in bilingual dictionaries that cover those sorts of terminologies. If you intend to do a lot of marketing or literary translation then dictionaries of idioms and idiomatic sayings and bilingual jargon would be useful.

Tip no. 2 Pre-reading gives you the big picture

By pre-reading a document or text to be translated we mean skimming through it fairly quickly so that you get the general gist of what it is all about. This is something you might want to consider if you are just starting out to make sure it is a translation task that you can handle and also to know how much to charge. By pre-reading a document you will also know what sort of extra equipment in the form of dictionaries as has already been mentioned will be useful.

Tip no. 3 Work out the style and meaning of the text

Every individual piece of text has its own well-defined style. You will want to maintain that type of style when the text is translated. You will also wish to maintain the overall meaning of the text or document after translation. This depends on the fluency you have obtained in both the original and target languages.

Tip no. 4 Proofreading allows perfection

Proofreading cannot be stressed enough once you have finished translating, but there are many ways you can proofread your documents. One way is to read the text out loud. This allows you to check that the meaning of the text has been preserved. Re-read the translated text to double-check grammar and spelling mistakes. Another way to do this is to read backward from the end of the document or get someone else, preferably a native speaker to check the text. The native speaker will particularly notice nuances like idioms and jargon which may not have been translated properly or sound clumsy.

Why Translators Should Not Make Mistakes

History shows a record of terrible translation mistakes that have occasionally caused international tensions to rise and even the possibility of war. Thankfully, most translation mistakes are far less critical than that and may even cause a laugh. However, it is unlikely that the individual or business that asked for the translation would be laughing once they discovered that their mistranslated document or marketing slogan or web page they had spent money on was being laughed at itself.

There are many reasons why translators should not make any mistakes and why anyone searching for a reliable business document translation service should choose their translator(s) carefully.

Legal documents are full of technical terms and should be translated by legal document translation services that have the expertise to handle legal terminology. Any small mistakes may mean a lost business contract or misunderstanding which could slow down negotiations, business approval or immigration requirements.

Medical documents may include things like medical manuals, prescription requirements, medical records and vaccination certificates. Even small mistakes could end in disaster if the wrong procedure was used, a medical instrument was not calibrated properly or the wrong dosage was administered because of the message being incorrect.

Marketing material is also something that needs to be correctly translated. It is marketing material that is so often the butt of jokes because of errors in translation. Usually this is because of idiomatic expressions being translated directly from one language into another. Marketing messages are targeted at specific markets that usually have their own language and expressions.

Translation has become an important part of international business and should be treated seriously. There is no point in trying to cut back on the budget when it comes to translation tasks. Translation is the work of professional translators who are trained and certified and are unlikely to make mistakes. Good quality translation services will always make sure that their translated copy is proofread thoroughly before being released by a first language speaker with experience in the subject matter being translated.

How Vital is Website Translation for International Business?

Mastering geographical barriers and centralising information and knowledge are all part of the new globalized world we live in today. This has all started to fall into place despite linguistic barriers. Exchanging goods over vast distances and moving people too is all part of this new commercial world. All these exchanges can only take place if linguistic barriers are reduced. In order to take part in lucrative trade relations language services are at the forefront of providing a means of communication that is beneficial to all parties.

Because being part of the global business market is now so important, professional translation services are required to prepare products for the multilingual world. It is no use marketing product information online only in English just because the business has its base in the English speaking world because English is just one of a multitude of languages spoken by the world’s population. E-commerce promotes internationalism but it is only useful if online customers can speak the language used.

Using a machine translator is quite affordable and can help business but its accuracy isn’t perfect and a human is required to proofread and edit the outcome. Machine translations cannot adapt to intricate meanings and do not understand the human side of what is to be translated.

In Australia there are many different professional translation services but the most competent is a NAATI translation. Translators with NAATI accreditation can interpret and retain the meaning that is required for international communications and business requirements. Translation services in Australia can produce a document that matches the original document not just in the language required but with the required layout and presentation that a business should expect.

A quality language translation can bridge the gap by assisting companies to reach a global audience by providing the type of translation potential clients are able to clearly understand and relate to. Whether it’s for a traditional street business or a new online venture, A NAATI translator has the skills to provide readable, translated content for all types of businesses in virtually all languages.

What Sort of Translation do you need for a Marriage Certificate?

Certified and notarized translations are the most common types of translations for marriage certificates.

When a certified translation is completed the translator will certify it to say it is correct. The certification indicates that they are both capable of undertaking the translation of the document and that the translation is correct. The document is signed and dated by the translator too so if any fault is found in the translation the translator is held accountable for the mistake.

A marriage certificate can be notarized which means the document is stamped which verifies that the translation is official and can be used for official purposes. Notarization is undertaken by notaries who are classified as witnesses.

The translation of the marriage certificate

The most common reason for translating a marriage certificate translation is when you were married in one country and you move to another where the language is different. Certain authorities may require seeing your marriage certificate, especially if a name change has taken place.

What translator should you use?

If you are moving to Australia from a country whose native language is not English there are many translation services in Australia that have translators who are experienced at marriage certificate translation. If you need your marriage certificate translated for official purposes such as for immigration or employment in Australia you will need a NAATI translator to do the translation.

NAATI is the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters and is the body in Australia that has approved translators that are qualified to complete marriage certificate translations and other document translation services for official purposes, such as for immigration, employment, and taxation. If you try to use a cheaper translation service or one that is not NAATI accredited you can’t expect official bodies in Australia to accept this translation.

How to Translate Idioms

Idioms are expressions that have found their way into common usage in most of the world’s languages. They not only have unique meanings but tools like “Google Translate” have difficulties in coming out with the correct translation for many idioms. It’s usually virtually impossible to provide a word-for-word translation for idioms because of their uniqueness. This is because one idiom has often evolved from a small group of people living in a specific area. The culture of that area may have developed an idiom that fits in nicely with the group’s surroundings. Once the idiom is circulated outside the group its meaning may have no relevancy. For example, the idiom ‘as rare as hen’s teeth’ would have no relevance in a place where hens never existed.

Because of this difficulty in translating idioms, a wealth of literature has emerged explaining possible translation tactics. One such book is by Mona Baker and is called “In Other Words: A Course Book on Translation“.

There is a useful chapter in the book called, “The translating of idioms: strategies” If you are working as a translator for translation services in Australia you will be mostly handling translations that use British English. If you come across an idiom in English that you have to translate into the target language that is the language you are translating into the first step is to search the target language for an equivalent idiom in that language. That means it has to use identical words to the English idiom, structured in the same way i.e. the order of the words and the meaning is the same too.

Sometimes you are lucky and you will find the same idiom that has either been passed to other languages or has evolved in a similar fashion to the English version. If this fails look for an idiom in your own language that is made up of different words which have a structure that is not the same but the meaning is exactly the same. If this option fails, look for an idiom in your own language that is made up of different words with a structure that is different and the meaning is not quite the same but nearly. You can perform a translation of this with an added explanation.

If you are really perplexed about translating an idiom say into German and you can’t find a group of German words that fit the English meaning then you may have to find a translator who is a German speaker who works with you at translation services in Brisbane who can help you find the correct combination of words that best expresses the English idiom in German. In an emergency, you can try the internet website http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ to source a suitable translation. You do have to get the translation near to perfect when translating a document for document translation services.

Is Translation Automation Technology a Smart Choice?

Most translation services in Sydney and elsewhere in Australia have followed the global trend in translation technique and use translation automation technology to a greater or lesser extent but is this a smart choice? Is a reliance on translation automation downgrading translation quality?

Automation is nothing new. Virtually every human activity in the twenty-first century makes use of some kind of automation and little of this is controversial. When it comes to translation automation the aim is to make use of any technology that becomes available that can speed up translation, achieve more effective consistency and help to process greater volumes of work without reducing the final product.

There is no single translation automation technology. It consists of a number of different tools available to any company that provides document translation services. No serious NAATI translator would contemplate using translation automation to replace human translation entirely, but it can be very useful in dealing with repetitive and monotonous content. This sort of automation cuts down translation times considerably and saves the client money.

Glossaries and style guides have become an accepted and very useful tool for companies that have a lot of translation work to be done and build up a strong working relationship between themselves and their translation service provider. These automated tools help to store a memory of text that has already been translated many times before and helps to maintain consistent terminology as well as speed up translation times.

In addition to the sort of automation technology that is specifically related to translation, there is also a lot of routine and mundane work that the average translator does which can be left to automation. This includes things like receiving emails, communicating with clients and ensuring documents for translation are received online.

So in response to the original question whether translation automation is a smart choice the answer is that wherever the technology helps to improve the translator’s work output, improve consistency and reduce the workload it is definitely a smart choice.