Unfortunately, translators are often given poorly prepared source texts. By this, we mean:
- Copies that are difficult to read
- Texts written by the customer that are riddled with mistakes (spelling mistakes / grammar mistakes, erroneous content, unclear wording or even ambiguous wording)
- Little or no context to the text to be translated present (e.g. individual expressions for software, which can often also have several meanings or can represent several forms of wording in the English)
- The author wrote the text in a foreign language in which he/she is not fully fluent, meaning that sentences are not properly understood, or “false cognates” are used which change the meaning.
- The author is not a good text writer, making it difficult to follow his/her argumentation.
- Abbreviations are not explained
Anyone who wishes to receive a good translation should ensure the following:
1. The text does not contain any formal errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation etc. are correct)
2. The text is in a clearly legible quality (not a fax of a poor copy that has been forwarded three times...)
3. The text is formulated in a good style and logically structured using suitable conjunctions.
4. Ambiguous expressions that could have multiple interpretations must be avoided.
5. A text written in a foreign language must be checked by a native-language colleague and corrected if necessary.
6. Information about the context must be provided for individual expressions or short phrases.
7. Abbreviations must be resolved.
This list is probably incomplete, but should serve as an orientation aid.
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