Why Industry-Specific Knowledge and Language Skills Are Key to Accurate Translation


Why Industry-Specific Knowledge and Language Skills Are Key to Accurate Translation
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

4/28/2020

When businesses need their content translated, they usually look for professional multilingual translators. However, translation requires a translator to know more than just the source and target languages. Translators also need to be well-versed with the sector-specific vocabulary of their clients’ industries to produce accurate translations.

Language Skills

In-depth knowledge of the language is the primary requirement for accurate document translation. Clients need translators that are qualified in both the source and target translation languages. This does not merely mean understanding the languages but also knowing the vocabulary and grammar rules.

According to iLanguages, 43 percent of the world is bilingual. However, just knowing a foreign language does not make one a skilled translator. Businesses need to vet the translators they want to work with to be sure that they can accurately translate documents and audios that will resonate with the target audience. 

Translation mistakes can be a result of directly translating words without considering their contextual meaning. Translators also need to be specialized or experienced in translating industry-specific content.

Why Industry Knowledge is Important for Translators

For effective translation results, companies also need translators with experience in their industries. This is because each industry has its own terminology, which may not mean the same thing when directly translated into everyday language.

For example, in the legal industry, the term “accessory” means a person that is somehow connected to a crime, either before or after the crime has been committed. Usually, the person is not present when the crime is being committed. In layman’s language, the term “accessory” means a thing that can be added to something else to make it more attractive, versatile, or useful. 

You can see the confusion that will arise when a translator with no legal background works on a legal translation document. A lot of information will not make sense, and this could end up costly for clients. Working with translators with industry-specific knowledge is crucial for accurate translations.

Here are other reasons why you should hire a specialized translation services company:

Familiarity with the Local Audience

There are three main areas of expertise that translators need: linguistic knowledge of the source and target languages, understanding of the culture of the audience whose language they specialize in, and industry knowledge.

Every sector of business translation or document translation services has to handle cultural issues. Failing to take the issues into account can be the source of many problems. In some sectors such as the legal industry, the stakes are higher than in most others. Legal systems vary, and translators need to be knowledgeable of the policies of the countries where the source and target translation languages are spoken.

The Value of Consistency

In any industry, various key terms, phrases, and technical terminology tend to be used over and over again. These terms have to be translated in the same way every time to avoid confusion. When it comes to technical translation, the use of creative synonyms will not suffice.

One of the ways that professional translation services provider ensure consistency is by the correct terminology. Some translators do so by using glossaries, which are especially helpful when translators work with clients from a specific industry for a long time. A specialized translator will be proficient at translating your industry jargon through a well-established glossary.

Security for Your Projects

A specialized translator will understand the importance of keeping your project secure. Translators with knowledge in areas such as law, health, manufacturing, and business understand the repercussions of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. This is why they have various security measures in place to safeguard their clients’ projects.

For example, professional business translation service providers usually sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) when handling sensitive projects such as mergers and acquisitions.

The above is an overview of why it’s crucial to hire a translator with specific industry knowledge and language skills when looking for business translation services.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed success at GMR for almost ten years now and has helped the company grow. Within two years of Beth managing GMR Transcription, it had doubled in sales and was named one of the OC Business Journal’s fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she likes spending time with her husband and two kids.