Poor translations are all around us. They can be seen in handbooks of various devices we buy, but also, sadly, in foreign literature and movies, that we think are true to the original, but that many times have important concepts altered or completely lost in translation.
With so many new software tools which have revolutionized our various trades, we must not lose sight of the basic tools of each profession.
Computers can help us be more productive, by being able to perform routine tasks at unbelievable speeds. In terms of speed of calculations, they are far superior to human beings. But compared to human beings, computers are particularly deficient in creative endeavors, in design, and in general in making decisions for us, when there is no specific procedure which has been defined beforehand (which, by the way, when it exists, was defined by a human being). In this blog we will share a series of tools that we, at Carmiol Professional Translations, consider to be key for achieving high quality translations.
We use translation software and cloud applications to be more productive and to improve the results of our work. And we will share some of these here, but we also want to share with you some key translation basics, which impact the quality of any translation.
If we can help even one tourist to communicate better in a foreign country, or one small business owner who intends to export his materials and must translate his product literature into a foreign language, then this blog will have been of use.
So this is just the first article in a series of tips to achieve high quality translations.
Let´s start with one practical tool, which can have you producing higher quality translations immediately:
This is a search engine of human translations. It searches a large amount of websites (for example, the United Nations, NGOs and different governments) which already have the exact same documents translated into different languages, and it tries to match a word or phrase from a source language to a target language.
We already know there are English-Spanish (etc.) dictionaries online, but if you are left wondering how to express a certain phrase in another language, Linguee can probably help you.
It is used in a similar way as the Google Search Engine, except that one enters a word or phrase, from what language to what language do you want it translated, and Linguee returns the same phrase in the other language, with the contexts where it found it, or if it can´t find the exact same phrase, it returns the closest finds.
In my opinion it is much better than Google Translate in that, since these are actually translations made by humans, they sound more natural, and tend to be truer to the original. There is no guarantee that you get a correct translation. But if, for example, you find 10 different websites where “actually” was translated to Spanish as “en realidad”, and not as “actualmente” (which means currently), then that is probably the correct way to translate it.
Hope this is helpful.