How are your translations doing?

  • Are they accurate?
  • Are they delivered quickly?
  • Are they reasonably priced?

If you answered “no” to one or more of these simple questions, then you’re in luck! There are five secret things that you can do to help your translations be more accurate, more quick, and less expensive.

Secret #1. Write Shorter Sentences

Yes, that’s also the secret to better writing. And it makes sense. If you write shorter sentences in your source language, the sentences are going to make more sense. That means they will be easier and faster to translate.

Secret #2. Use Fewer Words

Use as few words as you need to get your point across. All of those lovely adjectives? (<– See what I did right there?) Remove as many as you can. Have you created a new form recently? Well, can you create an old form? We use <<<so many>>> needless words <<<all of the time>>>.

Secret #3. Say the Same Thing, the Same Way, Every Time You Say It

Secrets to Better Translation Secret #3. Say the Same Thing, the Same Way, Every Time You Say It

How many ways can you say “Click OK”? I counted over 50. Here are a few:

Click OK.

Click on OK.

Click on the OK button.

Click the botton.

Press …

Tap …

Select …

Pick one way to say it, using the least amount of words necessary, and say it that way over and over again.

Secret #4. Don’t use Idioms or Jargon

We know that idioms and jargon don’t translate. So don’t use them.

Secret #5. Use Correct Grammar

Correct grammar makes your sentences easier to read. Easier to read means faster to translate. Easier to read means better quality translations. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Secret #6. This One Isn’t in the Video

Curious about your source English content? Want to see how translatable it is? Contact us for a free content health check. We’ll analyze your content for translatability and share the results with you. Email me at vals@contentrules.com for more information.

Val Swisher

Val Swisher is the CEO of Content Rules. She is a well-known expert in global content strategy, content development, and terminology management. Using her 20 years of experience, Val helps companies solve complex content problems by analyzing their content and how it is created.

When not blogging, Val can be found sitting behind her sewing machine working on her latest quilt. She also makes a mean hummus.

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