High quality translation services involve much more than simply converting one language to another. Almost anyone who speaks and writes more than one language can translate written words from one language to the next, but if that task is done without paying close attention to nuances of the languages and the original text, the finished product may mean something different than the author intended or – in the worst-case scenario – may not even make sense. The truth is that high quality document translation is a time-consuming and somewhat complicated process that requires a competent, trained linguist.

What follows are some of the most important features of a well translated document:

The original meaning of the source document must be accurately reflected in the end product

If the meaning is “lost in translation,” then the entire translation process would be a total waste of time. Readers of the translated document must be able to easily understand the author’s original meaning and intent.

Nuances of both the original and the target languages

Such as word usage and popular jargon, for example – must be accurately conveyed in the translated text. If possible, the translator should be a native speaker. Or, at the very least, the linguist should be familiar enough with the language so that these nuances aren’t missed in the finished product.

Industry-specific words and phrases must be understood and accurately translated by the linguist

Many professions – such as the medical and legal fields, for example – utilize unique and specialized terminology that is not easily comprehended by someone without experience in that field. A high quality translator should not only have a solid background in translating certain languages, but should also have a good working knowledge of terminology used in the industry as well.

The author’s original tone and “voice” should be retained in the translated document

Every author has his or her own unique writing style or “voice.” This is true not only for writers of fiction, but for all authors – even those writing business documents. The author’s style should remain intact in the translated text.

The end product should be free of errors

If you’re a translator, this means proofreading your own work at least twice and preferably having someone else read it as well, to check for possible errors or oversights. If you’re not a native speaker yourself, it would be quite helpful to find a native speaker of the target language who could read your translation. No matter how much experience you have, another set of eyes is always helpful.

Whether you are looking for high-quality translation services for your business, or perhaps are a new translator just starting out in your profession, this list of what comprises a high quality translated document is important to keep in mind. If it’s not obvious already, then it’s worth repeating: a high-quality translation is so much more than simply converting words from one language to another!