5 Tips When Writing For Translation

John Merritt Top Tips

5 Tips When You’re Writing For Translation

1. Think Before You Get Started

Background information, including any useful terminology, is really helpful for your translator. Make sure to allow your translator enough time to do the job properly, and don’t confuse them with too many versions of the same text.

2. Keep It Simple (Stupid)

Don’t be tempted to squeeze lots of information into each sentence. Depending on the syntax of your target language, you could leave a translator with leftover subordinate clauses and contracted phrases. Where appropriate, think about using vertical lists for clarity.

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Being Boring

Variation is the spice of life. But when translating documents, it’s vital that terminology is used consistently throughout, as a translator might think you want to introduce two different concepts into the same document.

4. It’s All About That Font

That font that you’ve spent ages choosing might well not support interesting alphabets. So next time you’re translating brochures into Burmese, Russian, Arabic and more, find a Unicode-compatible font first.

5. Play Nice With Word Order

Standard English word order (Subject, Verb, Object) makes translation smoother. Also, go easy on long strings of nouns – for instance, “Portsmouth has a hospital employee relations program” could easily be changed to “Portsmouth has a program to improve relations among its hospital employees”.