Avoid pitfalls, Reap Benefits of Translation

-Use a Good Translator to Avoid Troubles Down the Road

When doing business with a foreign company or foreign customers, communication takes on special importance.  The way we leverage translation can make or break relationships and give us a competitive advantage.

Consider how much effort you’ve put into your special project or event.  Can you really risk it being wasted by a shoddy presentation in the target language? What about liability?

We work hard putting together documents and projects like intellectual property documents, press releases, statements by CEOs, and important conferences for international audiences.

In order to bring your product or service to an international audience, a great translation or interpreter is the final but essential step, like icing on a cake!

For those of us who only understand our own language, translation is about trust.  We don’t know how our translated project is going to appear to our readers, since we do not speak Japanese. 

We assume our message is being brought across, but is it really?  We won’t know until later, when we find out our message has succeeded or failed to reach the target audience.

Use a Good Translator

Imagine how difficult it is, translating into the most complicated writing system in the world!  Written Japanese uses four writing systems at once.  There are one-word characters borrowed from the Chinese, called kanji. 

There are two syllabic alphabets(each letter is a syllable), called hiragana for Japanese grammatical elements not found in Chinese, and katakana to spell out foreign words and names, syllable by syllable.  In addition, Romanized letters are occasionally mixed in, and all of these could appear in the same sentence!

Frustratingly, we can’t really see into the other language.  We must rely on good translators to represent us in a positive light, and a good translator understands the impact of his or her words. 

They know a lot is riding on your translation.  It could be the way to close a deal, expand your global reach, or prevail in court.

A professional  translation hits the right tone, it is accurate, and it comes in on time.

An Interpreter Gets Your Message Across in Person

Japanese interpreting, person to person (as opposed to translation, which is written) takes into account the formality and local dialect of each side. It should not be left to amateurs.

An interpreter comes to your location, sometimes along with a technician if interpreting equipment is needed for your large group or event.

Never leave important communication to chance!

There are ways to save money

Depending on the translator or translation agency, translation quality can vary a lot, and with it price.

When choosing a translation company, consider what is at stake.  If the piece to be translated is important, in other words if large numbers of customers or partners will be reading it, then the translation needs to be top-notch. 

At Capital Linguists we offer two choices: simple translation, or for publication, the T.E.P- translation, editing and proofreading.  T.E.P. translation requires a two person team to check each other’s work for perfection of tone and word choice.

Simple translation is a great way to save money, but it should be reserved for incoming foreign documents.  Anything for publication or to “impress” must go through the T. E. P. process.

The more people who will be viewing your project, and the more profit or loss is at stake, the better the translation had better be. 

The very best translators can deliver the correct tone for your project into the target language.  A big, image piece, for example, promotional material like an advertisement or brochure requires an appropriate boldness, without being boring or too casual.

Save Headaches with a Reputable Agency

Trying to shepherd a large translation project to publication could be a major headache for a busy organization.  A big project requires the expertise of a reputable translation agency to assure that no detail of the finished project is missed.

Generally, an agency has translators work toward their native tongue, to assure the correct tone and grammar.  A great agency knows that for legal documents, a subtle understanding of legal terms in both the source and target language are essential. 

Even after translation has been completed, silly errors can sneak in. Too often have we seen, in the process of publication, a well-meaning professional “correcting” a document unnecessarily. 

We remember the famous German company that corrected a translation into English from headquarters to headquarter because “there is only one.”

For that reason it is critical for a sophisticated native speaker to review the pre-publication draft.  Their comments should be transmitted in writing; we in the translation business know that translation corrections made by phone can often make things worse!

Avoid the Hazards of Amateur Interpreting

Can I use a bilingual on my staff to translate?

Just because your employee often closes deals in a foreign language, does not mean they should be doing your translations as well.  Interpreters are trained to know things that even a seasoned bilingual may not know. 

Conversing in and translating into a foreign language are two completely different skills.  Unless your staff is a native speaker of Japanese, their translation will have a foreign “accent.”

We may not be able to tell when a translation has taken an inappropriate turn, but our reading audience certainly can! If an unprofessional mistake has been made it could lead to of fense or amusement at the expense of the reputation and image of our company.

In the case of legal translations, it is essential to use a translator who knows their way around both English and (in this case) Japanese legal terms and conditions.

Translation is About Trust

For those of us who only understand our own language, translation is about trust.  Use the trusted name in Japanese translation, Capital Linguists.

Give us a call to discuss your project so we can get you on our schedule.

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Philip Rosen

Philip Rosen

Capital Linguists’ certified translation service and interpreters service was founded on Philip’s vision of a super-elite translation and interpreting force. Drawing on other high level interpreters and translators, he leads an exclusive cadre of highly skilled, professional language specialists.