Watch your language. 1.5 billion people speak English. That sounds like a big number, but the planet has more than seven billion people.
This means that translating English is an essential task for businesses and artists. Yet few people know English translating tips, let alone how to translate English.
How can you make texts easy to understand? What should you do about jokes and cultural references? How do you navigate through synonyms and slang terms?
Answer these questions and you can translate beautiful and clear documents in no time. Here are three essential tips for translating English.
1. Keep Text Brief
Shorter sentences are easier to translate than longer ones. Most languages also adopt grammar rules to allow speakers and writers to make shorter sentences, including English.
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Whenever you are translating, you should keep things short. Use grammatical functions to do this. You can split a complex sentence into two simple sentences when they are joined with a conjunction.
Try to cut unnecessary details out of your sentences. Most adjectives and adverbs do not affect the meaning of a sentence, and you should remove them.
2. Navigate Cultural Differences
Idioms, sarcasm, and cultural references are hard to translate. You can keep cultural references in your sentences if you think the reader will recognize them.
But you should try to change references to reflect your reader’s culture. This may entail doing some research so you can find an appropriate reference.
Idioms like “a bird in the hand are worth two in the bush” make little sense on a literal level. You should always replace the idiom with one that the reader knows. If you can’t find another idiom, you should replace it with its meaning.
Keep in mind that languages cut across national boundaries. Albanian translation services help you with an Albanian audience, but people who speak Albanian live throughout the world. You need to navigate cultural differences wherever these people live, not just between Albania and America.
3. Adopt a Set Vocabulary
Every language has multiple words with the same or similar meanings. You can refer to cats as “kitties,” “kitty cats,” “pussycats,” and so on.
Many translators choose alternate words for something to add color to their text. But most alternate words are slang terms for the original word.
Stick to one term for each word you use. Do not use slang or informal language unless there is a good reason for it. If you want to avoid repetition, rewrite whole sentences instead of changing individual words.
The Best Tips for Translating English
Translating English does not have to be tricky. Keep your text brief, regardless of what document you are translating. You can split complex sentences and remove unnecessary words to make things readable.
Try to replace idioms and references with ones that your reader will understand. When in doubt, remove them entirely and find a different sentence to write.
Stick to one term for basic words like “cat.” Avoid using synonyms for words, as they may be informal or inappropriate.
Translating English requires knowing how to read and write English. Read more English guides by following our coverage.