These days translating documents is far more commonplace than it ever used to be. The reason for this is globalisation. Both humans and businesses are extending their boundaries to faraway places trying to find a niche where they can fit in nicely or even grow their profits. Any movement into another country which doesn’t speak your own languages the authorities will require that you provide keys documents with translations which can be read and understood easily by immigration personnel.
The sorts of documents you may need to provide with an application could include any of the following:
- birth certificate
- marriage certificate (if applicable)
- degree and diploma certificates
- police clearance document
- medical report.
All these documents will need a translation provided by a document translation service provider that specializes in translating documents for immigration into another country. If you are entering the United States, for either job or business reasons, and you intend to reside permanently all your official documents will need to be signed by the translator who has to include a statement stating it is an accurate translation. This is most likely to be a more expensive document translation because the care that needs to be taken to ensure a perfect translation is far more crucial than other forms of document translation. Translators don’t provide a free service so if the job takes longer or a translation has to be certified expect this to be a more expensive document translation than others you may already have had.
Other types of documents that require highly specific translation skills are warranty cards for products and product manuals which is the documentation that normally accompanies a newly purchased product. It’s crucial that these documents are perfectly accurate so as not to cause confusion or misunderstanding. If you are looking for this high degree of accuracy expect to pay more for the service than other less important document translation services. You pay for what you get and if you want the best translation possible then expect a more expensive document 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 specialise 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 specialise 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 backwards 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.
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.
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.
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.
Almost all companies wish to grow and take up global opportunities, but there are challenges when this is undertaken. To ensure maximum gain is achieved through marketing globally the business has to cross the language barrier first. Many businesses believe that using English is good enough, as they think that the majority of the world’s population can understand basic English which is sufficient for the aims of marketing a new product.
The fact of the matter is that very few of the world’s population have even a basic grasp of the language. This means if globalizing a product is taken seriously its product description and marketing materials have to be translated into the languages of the countries where the product is most likely to attract buyers.
What does translating into another language do?
- It breaks down language barriers
- It connects potential buyers with the product.
What documents need translating?
If you are marketing your product in Australia and it has been produced in China you will need to get a NAATI translation of any official documents that may accompany your marketing campaign. If you are sending marketing personnel to Australia their passports and proof of their status as marketers will have to be translated into English and only a NAATI translation is accepted by immigration and other Australian authorities. This translation has to be completed by certified translation services which have a proven record for offering document translation services. Once the translation has been completed it is then presented to the relevant Australian authority.
When marketing a product in a different language, documents describing how to use the product will need accurate translations, as any misunderstandings could result in the product being misused. In some cases, this could even endanger the life of the user. Precautions for the use of the product need to be carefully translated as do any documents related to guarantee period and conditions. If all these translations are done correctly then more potential buyers are drawn to the product as it will have built up a reputation for accuracy and reliability.
Applications or apps, as they are more commonly referred to, are hitting the computer users market in their millions. They range from interactive navigation and mapping solutions to simple downloading of videos, music and games. There are also easy to use weather apps that find the weather for your place in seconds. If you have produced an app yourself you won’t want to limit it just to your neighbours but you will want it to reach all corners of the globe.
Mobile app sellers are global but to reach out to this global market you need to get your app translated into the languages of potential buyers. The next individual who comes across your app and thinks it’s just great could be situated in just about any part of the world. To ensure you take advantage of this potential market whether it’s an iOS app or an Android app an accurate translation of its use is essential.
In some countries, such as Australia, the best translation is that completed by a NAATI translation since to become a NAATI translator the person has had their competence as a translator approved. They specialise in all sorts of document translation services such as any documents associated with an app that the creator wants to market to the global market. Because a NAATI translator has received official accreditation they provide certified translation services which you can depend upon for accuracy.
Why does localizing your app to a global market matter?
Figures indicate that mobile subscriptions top 6 billion worldwide with more than 50 percent being based in the Asia Pacific region. The languages that cover these mobile subscribers include Chinese, a variety of Indian languages, English, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Vietnamese, German, Tagalog and Bengali. Research has revealed that if you translate your mobile app into other languages then the downloading of your app rises significantly. In fact some app companies found that their sales increased by more than 25% once they had translated their app to suit the language of the country targeted.
Internationalization and localization
There are two different processes involved when preparing your app for the global market. The first one is internationalisation, when you ensure your software suits your targeted country’s language and culture. The other is localisation, when you have to find specific resources that have to be added to your software so that it supports your targeted country, both in terms of language and culture.
There is no one driver’s license that covers you for all the different states and territories in Australia. Once you have been living in a specific state for more than 3 months you will need to obtain the license for that state if you wish to drive legally. If you have moved from overseas and you hold a license to drive in your own country you may use this legally for the first 3 months of your stay. However, it is advisable to get professional translation services to translate the details of your driving license into English. Document translation services can provide a NAATI translation which will put you in a favourable situation if asked by an official to show your driver’s license.
Once the three months has passed you might be required to take a practical driving test before being issued with your new license. If you possess a New Zealand driver’s license or you have been in possession of an Australian driver’s license in the past the requirement to sit a practical test may be waived. Licenses held by those from the European Union, the USA, Canada and Japan may also be exempt from this requirement.
If you are coming to reside in Australia from any other country you may be required to sit a driving test, both theory and practical. As long as you have held a driver’s license from your own country for at least 3 years you should not be subject to a probationary period once you have passed the driving test. As you are permitted to drive in Australia for 3 months using your own country’s license you should wait until the 3 months is close to expiry before sitting the state’s driving test as if you happen to sit the test and fail before the 3 month period has come to an end you will not be able to drive using your overseas license but you will have to wait until you have passed the driving test.
If you are living in New South Wales the theory driving test is taken on a computer at all RTA offices. If you fail you can have as many goes as it takes to pass. The downside to this is that you have to hand over 30 dollars for each attempt! If you fail the practical test you take on learner driver’s status until you pass. This means you will need to be accompanied by a license holder every time you drive and you will have to stick to a speed limit of 80 kph.
Many refugees from a number of diverse communities have in recent years been able to gain permanent residence in countries like Australia and the U.S. Most of these migrant refugees do not speak English as a first language. In fact they may not speak any English at all. However, luckily for them, perhaps, when someone is accepted as a refugee it’s not their language that is taken into consideration, but their political and economic status from the country they originate from. This can be quite a challenge for document translation services when they are asked to translate official documents like birth and marriage certificates into English or German whatever the country happens to be. For many refugees, this can be a long and protracted affair as they may have had to flee their original homeland without much documentation at all.
The U.S. is an example of a country that has always welcomed people from other countries whether as a refugee or for business or work related reasons. However, in recent years, the diversity of languages of the people accepted into the country has changed dramatically. Cities like Amarillo have for decades worked well with the use of English and Spanish, especially in important institutions like the courthouse. The city hasn’t sat on the fence over the matter but now has documents translated into Burmese, Arabic and Vietnamese to ease any problems with communication. This means they must have used certified translation services that have translators proficient in both English and the other languages. The level of translation required is no doubt at least as good as a NAATI translation service in Australia where refugees are being invited to live in the country from similar countries as America.
In recent years, Texas has had refugee resettlement clearly on its agenda as it has become one of the most popular states for refugees specializing in people from Myanmar, sub Saharan Africa and Iraq. 7,200 in the past year who have come from an astonishing 24 countries have now settled down in Texas. Houston took 2,000 and large numbers also ended up in Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. Amarillo in the last 4 years has accepted almost 500 refugees. Such a large number and from so many different language groups provides quite a challenge for professional translation services as they have to be able to find translators fluent and proficient in a whole new set of languages from a range of newly diverse communities.
Businesses are constantly needing translation services, but what type should they use? Basically, this comes down to a choice of a freelance professional multilingual translation service or an in-house translator. There are advantages and disadvantages of each, but the balance favours the use of a freelance NAATI translation service. Here are three good reasons why you should make this choice rather than use an in house translator.
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