Understanding The Main Factors that Makes a Translation "Good"

Robin Ayoub

Understanding The Factors That Makes a Translation “Good”

It can be tricky to define whether a translation is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Perhaps in a way it can be said that a translation may be deemed ‘good’ if it is done within the budget and fulfills its immediate purpose.
Purpose however may even be secondary when you consider the importance of text quality. This prevalent factor will make a high quality piece more favorable to clients and business partners should it be understandable as well as well written.
While dichotomous assertions of how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ a text is not acceptable, there are still some factors that may be used to ascertain the quality of a translated text. In this case we will be considering text that has been translated to English. In addition to these factors which may contribute to the quality of the text, one must also be on the lookout for problems that often arise within translations and result in mediocre content.

 Exhaustive Use of Formal Language

While a word may be synonymous to another, the functionality of the term will depend upon the content contained within the text. When translating for comprehension and readability, one must understand which words will serve the purpose better. It is a simple choice between a word that may enhance the overall flow of perusal rather than one which will have a staccato effect. In some cases a plainer sounding word may actually prevail over the more complex one. You need to make the decision between the choice of ‘cardiac’ arrest or a ‘heart attack’. Since English itself is a by-product of various languages, this issue is usually found among those that it has borrowed from. French and Spanish speaking natives may find that the words they use within the norm would be considered complex within the English language and would cater to a niche audience. Sometimes derisive words may just be the key to translation.

Similar But Not Identical

There are many words within languages which may convey the essential meaning of what the author is trying to say but may fail to be an identical representation of the word itself. When translating, it is important to understand which word is naturally used within a context.

Descriptive Phrases

This is especially applicable to technological terms which may not have identical counterparts in another language. A Hand-held device may not be effectively translated to a ‘device held within the hand’. Not only would this be too tedious to implement but is a rather inaccurate and descriptive account of a singular object.
Similarly compounds are also in danger of being lost in the abyss when we consider terms similar to ‘marketing department’ turned into ‘department of marketing’ or ‘Sales Manager’ evolved into a ‘Manager of Sales’. When translating between languages it is important to understand the natural flow and traditional norms in written and conversational language in order to reach a more effective translation even if it isn’t an absolutely accurate or literal one.

Use of Determiners

Excessive use of determiners may also take away from the natural flow of the language. While one may say that the use of ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ would be fairly accurate, it may be objected that the use is also redundant. If one should ‘see a decrease in the overall expenses’ they would also witness ‘decrease in overall expenses’ accurately. The ultimate goal would be to reach a result that translates better in idiomatic English. ‘The’ organizations and ‘The’ schools have now shed their connection with the determiner and are quite willing to function independently. This behavior is most common in French to English Translations as the language of origin allows a recurrence of ‘the’ within a sentence.

Contractions and Preposition Use

The narrative style may also find itself victim to the unnecessary avoidance of contractions. Will the content not read better if it features a ‘can’t’ rather than a ‘cannot’? Excessive implementation of rhetorical questions may also give away the ineffectiveness of translation. This occurrence is fairly common among Spanish to English translations.

While you may not be able to identically replicate the content within the original text into the translated one, your goal should be to deliver content according to the needs of the receiving audience in order to promote clarity and readability through the implementation of rhetoric and narrative style. The ultimate motive of the translated piece is to seem as if it were the original itself and that no steps were taken to borrow content from another language.
I hope you found this post helpful and if you like to discuss this further, please comment on this blog or contact me by sending me an email
Until next time….
Robin Ayoub

Customer Service: The Journey from Worst to First

Back to Basics: Customer Service 101

No matter what service you’re in, it is a well-known fact that customers are important stakeholders, which influence the overall success of a business, especially one which is in the services industry. Since quality of service and customer satisfaction are both very important aspects of a business’s success, the following are some of the service dimensions by which a business can improve customer satisfaction.

The Customer is Always Right (Sometimes)

 CLS Lexi-techSo, let’s get one thing straight, while at times, it is best to side with unreasonable and demanding customers just to keep them happy. It is important to know when a particular customer isn’t right for your business. The phrase, “The customer is always right” was coined by Harry G. Selffridge in 1909, and it’s basically used for two purposes, one is to convince the customers that they are going to get the best service possible from your business. The second is to convince the employees that no matter how demanding the customer, their aim should be to provide the best service possible instead of brushing off the customer.
Customer service is basically an interaction between the customer and a business. The following are some of the tips for providing great customer service.

Understand the Problem

First and foremost, in order to solve a problem, you have to understand it. Many times the problem is not with the merchandise even the price, but rather with the employee’s negative attitude while they’re dealing with the complainant.

Show Some Empathy

Constantly interrupting the customer is the most annoying thing a customer service operator can do and is enough to make the blood boil of the most patient customer. To play it safe, show some empathy, provide explanations for any delays. One way of doing that is by giving the customer an opportunity to explain their problem to you without those annoying interruptions. And don’t forget to apologize for any inconveniences it may have caused them.

Find a Solution

Once you have identified the problem, it’s time to offer them with a solution. It is important to track customer complaints so that you may identify possible problems which are created from within the company.

Offer Alternative Solutions

Offering solutions to remedy the problem that your customers have is well, what you are there for in the first place. As business which is based on customer service, you can include free services or discount offers, discounts for referrals or send them emails with links to special promotions to remedy a problem, depending on its severity of course.

Create, Implement and Manage an Account Management Plan

The best businesses in the services industry have a account management plan. Having an account management plan in place will hopefully limit the need for your customer support staff to deal with serious conflicts. In order to create a winning plan you will need to gain insights from your customer. Once you have analyzed your target market, review it with management and include it in your quarterly business review.

Making the Move from Reactive to Proactive

When it comes to customer service almost all businesses think that they are delivering, what they would call ‘superior customer service.’ Sadly, in reality, that couldn’t be more farther from the truth. So, how does one get it right?
There are basically two ways of being proactive, while delivering the best customer service. One way is to provide preventive communication that encourages the customer support staff to address a possible issue by routinely calling up customers to see if they need any help.

The second way is by carrying out surveys and polls on social media outlets and letting your customers participate in them and voice their frustrations if any. Both ways are extremely effective in gaining customer insight and in making your product stronger.

Why Choose a reputable translation company

Why Should You Choose a Reputable Translation Company

To maintain a global reach for your enterprise and express your message in the right words, it is imperative that you hire a professional and reputable translation service provider.  Expert services by a renowned translation company can not only help you communicate globally, but also market in multilingual mediums with ease.

Here are some of the main advantages of hiring a trustworthy translation services provider for long term success in the industry. Take a look:

1. Professional and Experienced Translators

One of the main perks of choosing a reputable translation company is that you are assured of working with professionally experienced and qualified translators. Even a small mistake in translation can cost you more than a few hundred dollars.
When the reputation and brand identity of your organization is stake, you should go for nothing less than the very best in quality and expertise.

2. Proven QA Process

Quality assurance is another advantage of hiring a reputable translation service. Professional translation companies have a dedicated team of professional linguists who are native speakers of the target language and their thorough QA process means you get error free, accurate and  specialized services every time .
Most trustworthy translation agencies offer a step by step translation service comprising of not just word to word translation but also editing and proof reading by experts. This not only adds to the quality and appeal of the content translated but also enhances accuracy and readability to a large extent.

3. Successful Track Record in the Market  

Companies that already have a sound reputation established in the market are a more feasible choice as compared to startups. Before choosing a translation company, take a look at their client testimonials and reviews on the internet so you can have a better idea about the level of service they provide.

4. Coordination and Performance Monitoring

Most reputable translation companies work in teams and there is a strategized performance monitoring, evaluation and coordination structure present which ensures the quality of the final product delivered. For professional businesses in any industry, this is an added plus because the professionalism reflects upon their own brand’s reputation in the market.

5. Diversified Approach

The human element is perhaps the most important factor to consider when you are selecting a translation company. Professionally experienced translators possess the ability to deliver more than just marketing brochure fluff and can work on diversified projects for promotion and research with more accuracy and expertise.
Also, qualified translators are specialists when it comes to translation of technical, industry-specific content and ensure a consistency in style, proficiency and formatting for all the languages they offer translations services in.

6. Customer Service

It goes without saying that customer service is everything, especially in the competitive and fast paced world of today. When you choose a reputable and established translation service provider, you can be assured of quality service and immediate support that guarantees peace of mind and long term satisfaction.

Professional translation companies have a reputation to build and maintain in the market and thus they are more service oriented, they tend to value their clients more and also deliver within the set time constraints and specifications without compromising on the quality. 

7. Choose CLS Lexi-tech, here is why

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  1. Ability to handle larger volumes with faster turn-around.  Given our size and access to a large number of translators we can handle multiple disciplines.
  2. Ability to handle a variety of file formats.
  3. Liability Insurance.
  4. Company that will always be there and not an individual who may not always be available.
  5. Ability to invest in technology and technological solutions.
  6. Access to terminologists as well as vast terminology resources.
  7. Ability to have translation revised by someone other than individual who performed the original translation.
  8. Access to translators who can translate into multiple languages.
  9. Full-time project managers who handle the administrative burden for clients.
Thank you for reading my blog, if you have any comments or suggestions for future blogs please don’t hesitate to let me know