The Importance of Conventions, Tone and Phrasing in Translation
by Chad Richardson
There are many reasons why you might need a translator. Maybe you’re moving locations and there’s a minority which speaks a different language in the new location. Or maybe you’re taking your business abroad. In that case, you’ll need to translate all business documents, including letters, reports, emails, brochures, even websites and advertisements into the language of the country where you’re opening a branch. But different types of translation require different types of expertise. Here are some of the things you need to look for:
- Letters and Emails: When a translator is translating letters or emails, they need to consider the way in which these are written in both, the source language and the destination language. In certain languages, it might be necessary to adopt a formal tone when writing business letters while in another, the convention might be to be casual all the time. So the letters don’t only have to be translated word for word but they also have to be addressed in the right way, with the right tone.
- Leaflets and Brochures: When a translator is working on leaflets and brochures, they need to make sure that these look attractive to the people who are reading them. The whole idea behind these is to attract new customers. But there are different ways of phrasing things in different languages that will produce the desired effect. Once again, a word-for-word translation may not work; instead, you might need to use completely different phrasing to make the product sound desirable in the destination language.
- Websites and Social Media: When translating websites and social media as well, the translator needs to keep the marketing aim in mind and make sure that the translation makes the company and the product sound desirable or attractive in the destination language. Instead of using word-for-word translation, you might have to use a different phrase altogether, which will produce a similar effect in the mind of the consumer.
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