translate documents

How to translate documents


Translation is a complex process, with many common pitfalls. It’s important to be aware of these issues and learn how they can impact your project.

What makes translating documents so challenging?

The process of translating documents is complex, involving more than just finding the right words. If a document has a specific purpose or audience, then it must be translated into another language with the same intention. For example, if you want your documents translated into French so that your customers can read it in their native tongue, then you need to make sure that this translation meets all of its intended purposes—and not just because it sounds nice! You can visit Process9 for document translation services

Translation is a multi-step process.

Translation is a multi-step process. First, you need to understand the source language—the language in which the document was written. Then, once you’ve done that, it’s time for your second step: understanding the target language. Translation involves both linguistic and cultural knowledge; if you don’t have an intimate understanding of either or both languages involved in your translation project, then chances are good that whatever comes out will be less than perfect.

There are many ways to approach translation projects but they can easily be grouped into three categories: machine translation (MT), human translation and mixed methods approaches like collaboration between human translators and computers (CM).

If a document has a specific purpose…

If a document has a specific purpose, translators need to know what that purpose is.

The reason for this is simple: if you don’t know why the document was written and what it’s trying to achieve, you won’t be able to translate it well.

You may think that knowing the purpose of a document would be obvious if it were any other type of text (like an article or an email), but in translation work we often come across cases where there’s no clear focus point at all—and this can make things tricky for both translators and clients alike!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Translating a Document

  • Translate the document into your native language.
  • Make sure you understand the purpose of the document and its context.
  • Make sure that there are no misinterpretations in your translation.

Understand the Documents first

Translation isn’t just a matter of finding the right words; it involves understanding the context and purpose of a document. Translators need to understand both the language you’re translating from, as well as your target audience’s native tongue and culture.

For example, if you were translating an email from Japanese into English (for example), then your task would be to make sure that there weren’t any errors or weirdness in how they used certain phrases or words. If someone says something like “I’m meeting my friend at 3pm today,” but their name is actually written as _____ (fill in with actual name), then that could mean that they meant something else entirely! It’s important that translators are able to pick up on these sorts of things so they don’t end up making any mistakes when editing later down the line.”


As you can see, translation is not a one-size-fits-all process. It’s important to understand the context in which the document was written and what purpose it serves. A great place to start is by reading through it yourself before bringing in an external translator who may have a different perspective on the text or subject matter.

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