Introduction to Translating Content

Translating content is another service we offer at Topcontent. It can be quite technical! When translating from one language to another, it’s important that the style and flow of the text is kept natural and that a reader would never be able to tell that what they are reading is translated content.

A good translation transfers the meaning of the text, not the words!

What is expected from you as a translator?

A good, natural translation should sound like it was originally written in the target language. If the text you are translating actually sounds bad in that language, your job is to translate it in a way that reads well in the translated language and as always, sounds like it was written in that native language.

Things to remember

  1. You can change the word order, and sentence order. Just make sure the meaning is there!
  2. Don’t forget to use grammar rules (commas, capital letters (or lack of), etc.
  3. Add or remove repetition in the text; but only if that sounds more natural.
  4. Change currencies, units, unless the instructions says to keep them.
  5. If the source text is bad, you should try to make it better than the original version.
  6. If placeholders/HTML is included, make sure placeholders are in the correct places… and Do not translate placeholders

Important Stuff!

  • Do NOT delete or remove important information.
  • Again! A good translation transfers the meaning of the text, not the words!
  • Have something legal to translate? Click here for some guidelines on this.
  • Translation tools –  should you use them?

Translation tools are allowed, however, think of them as additional tools. Machine translations are not allowed – otherwise, the client would have just used that instead of us!

Tools such as Google Translate and local dictionaries are great tools to look up words or idioms. If you need recommendations on good tools in your language pair you can ask us and we will help you with that.

What does a good translation look like?

There are 3 key things that make a translation a good translation.

100% Accuracy

This often fails when there are mistranslations, missing sentences and bad grammar. If a translation has any of these errors, the reader tends to lose confidence in, not only the document, but also the company that produced it.

Crystal Clear

A translation has to be easily comprehensible and well written. Don’t forget, if the original document was of poor quality, we still need to translate this in the best way possible. A translation should present all the information and nuance of the original text in a clear and uncluttered fashion. If the original text contains long and overly complicated sentences – shorten them and make them clearer in the translation.

A natural flow

When you read anything, the words and sentences should flow naturally. Make sure that the translated content reads smoothly and sounds as if it were originally written in the target language.

Let’s get local!

Localisation” is the term for what we do when we translate the meaning of a text. We do not translate the texts word for word. Instead we find the true meaning of the text before reproducing the same content in the target language. This also applies to the currency or measurements of the local language.

If a translated text is going to be accurate, clear and have a natural flow, then the information needs to be adapted to the target market. This means either excluding or readapting country-specific references, such as sports, national celebrities, currencies, laws or similar.

Example: A translation from Swedish into English. The source text talks about “Swedish casinos” and “Swedish players”. This is irrelevant to the English-speaking reader. Here, you need to find out if the target market is the UK, the US or international and adapt the translation accordingly. E.g. “British players” or “Australian casinos”.

Click here for more localisation tips!

Ready to get started?

This information should help you get started on translating your first text.

Don’t forget, when you submit your task, you may get some feedback to make some changes to improve. This will help you when you translate more text in the future. And, if you would like to read some examples of successfully translated content, click here to read some!


Oh, and once again:

Double-check instructions have been followed – you won’t regret it!

And in case you encounter any difficulty, we have online chat available at certain times. One of our Content Managers will help you out!

Happy translating and stay awesome!

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