Translation tips

Obrázek 1 | Levey Translations

Few practical translation tips and tricks.

  1. After translating something, wait at least 24 hours (until the next day) before reading the text again. We are referring to short documents – no more than a few pages. If you are translating a book or academic paper you should ideally put the translated material in a drawer for a few days or weeks so that you can revisit it with fresh eyes.
  2. Paradoxically the most costly translations (with a fee for express service) may be the lowest quality. This is due to the lack of time to check or prepare specialised terminology. Order translations in advance if at all possible. Generally speaking, depending on the difficulty of the subject, ten to twelve pages of translation should be completed each working day. And then you still need time to check and double-check.
  3. If the clock is against you and you really need to translate a 20-page contract very quickly, translation agencies are probably the most practical choice. We have a database of translators who are experts in their fields, so we are able to handle rush deadlines.
  4. You are most likely to make a mistake on the first and last pages of any translation. This has been confirmed to me over and over again when proofreading translations. Pay close attention to the opening and end pages or paragraphs.
  5. If you are translating a heading, do it last. Often the headline contains references to the content of the piece, so you won’t completely understand until you’ve read the article. Additionally, if you read material in a foreign language, don’t be put off by the unclear title. Sometimes, writers may employ clever catchphrases in the headlines that you might not understand, but the article’s content will make it clear to you.
  6. Legal translations are a law unto themselves. Not all translators are experts in legal terminology. Even a slight text alteration or the absence of a word can have consequences. Since translating legal text is my area of expertise (I am a court translator of English and Czech), I know many legal translators who are experts and can recommend who to contact in a certain language or industry.  Most often we translate sales contracts, employment contracts, lease agreements or general terms and conditions. Discretion is a matter of course.

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