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Spotlight on… top quality translations

Umberto Eco wrote: “Translation is the art of failure.” He might be a great writer, but we’d like to disagree with him here! It’s true that translation does involve a degree of subjectivity, and the “perfect translation” might not exist. But we’re still committed to making sure our translations are as good as they can possibly be.

We often only hear about translation in the news when it’s badly done. The Catalan Government’s English website launch attracted attention for all the wrong reasons after they relied on Google Translate. Councillor Josep María Pelegri, was named as  “Joseph and Mary Pilgrim” while President Artur Mas became “More President”! And many of us have had a laugh at amusing mistakes on foreign menus – “stir-fried Wikipedia” anyone?

But good quality translations often don’t get noticed, because they’re indistinguishable from an original text written in that language. Of course they don’t happen by accident. We take a lot of steps to make sure our quality stays as high as possible.

It all starts with choosing the right translators. We can be very demanding and it’s not easy to become a Lingo24 translator! All our translators work into their native language, and have at least three years’ professional  experience and an internationally recognised translator’s qualification. Most of them live in their native country, or regularly spend time there, to ensure their language skills are up to date.

We also use smart technology to reduce the chances of human error. Our unique Heart software has built-in quality checks for omissions, correct terminology, grammar and more. One great thing about its Translation Memories is that they improve consistency for each client, over time. And then, to make doubly sure, most of our service levels include proofreading by a second, fully-qualified translator.

There are also a few things our clients can do to make sure their translations are as accurate as possible. Most brands have their own distinctive style and voice. Providing examples and glossaries mean we can match this style as closely as possible in the translation. And simply supplying files in a “translation-friendly” format can help make the process easier.

We’ve made a short video with a few tips and hints on how to get top quality translations, every time. And of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!

Hazel Mollison

Hazel Mollison edits and writes for the Lingo24 blog. After studying Italian and German at Cambridge University, she worked as a journalist for five years with regional and national newspapers. She enjoys writing about languages, translation, online marketing, and helping small businesses explore new opportunities.

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