This Is How to Effectively Translate Business Documents

Are you running a global business? In a world defined by the pandemic, making international connections has never been more important. We can no longer rely on the West alone to do business.

Instead, we must forge connections all over the world but particularly with Asia which is emerging as the new center of capital and business.

And the biggest key to success is translating business documents. So how do you make sure you get an accurate translation that can boost your chances of success with clients?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Hire an Expert Who Is Bi-Fluent

The best way you can go about translating business documents is to hire an expert who is fluent in both English and another language.

Hiring translation services can be great as you will get a team of people who can all potentially help you.

The value of getting someone who knows both languages is that they will understand all the nuances in both and can mediate between them. If you’re translating into English then it’s more important that you have a translator who speaks English more than the language in question because people who read English are your intended audience.

The reverse is important if your audience speaks or reads a different language. If you are translating business documents then you want your English or another language to be perfect. Anything other than this could jeopardize the relationship and make you look unprofessional.

As translation software is using artificial intelligence increases inaccuracy such as with Siri’s latest update, translation companies are upping their game to offer a more accurate service for a great value.

Accuracy vs Meaning

The key to a good translation is getting the balance right between accuracy and meaning for your client.

You need to make sure your translation is accurate when it comes to translating business documents as your clients or customers need to understand the offer on the table. Failure to make this clear can lead to misunderstandings and mistrust between the two parties.

At the start time if you translate a language it can come across as pretty crude and might not reflect the linguistic equivalent in English.

For instance, in Vietnamese, you might order a meal of chicken and rice by saying:

Em ơi, Em có mua cơm gà không?

Translated this would mean ‘oi you, have chicken rice?’

Of course in English, this would sound rude and is better translated as ‘Hello, do you have some chicken and rice?’

Getting the balance between accuracy and meaning can be hard but an experienced translator will know how to achieve a balance that satisfies both aims.

Check Thoroughly

You must check your work thoroughly and this can be hard if you are very close to your work because you’ve been working on it for several hours at a time.

If you are considering hiring a translator or a translation service then you need to enquire as to what their checking service is like. Do they have proofreaders who can ensure the translation contains no mistakes?

You also need to ask yourself how grammatically correct and how formal you care about your translation being. If you are dealing with a client you are trying to woo, and want to forge a great relationship with them it’s worth paying a premium for a perfect service.

In Europe, the translation business is worth $12billion so there are lots of options and levels of services for you to consider. 

If the purpose of the business translation is for a client you know well or someone in-house for a very practical purpose then 100% accurate might not be as important. This is not to say that you shouldn’t aim for the most accurate copy you can but that paying extra for a premium service might not be the best value for money.

Formal vs Informal

Another key consideration in terms of how to translate business documents is how formal the translation should be. Many languages have a formal version of the language and a much more informal one. Thai, for example, has a royal script that is attributed to Ram Khamhaeng the Great.

In Vietnamese, you can refer to yourself as Tôi which once meant servant informal conversations and several other descriptors if someone is younger or older than you.

Deciding what tone you use is a conversation you should have with your translator or translation service. Even if you don’t understand all the nuances of the language you are translating into or how it will come across you should have a series of experts to aid you to express your meaning in a way that you want.

Ask Lots of Questions

Asking lots of questions about the translation service is important as it means you are actively involved in the process of translating business documents.

You don’t want to just passively allow something so important to a third party service and assume they are going to accurately portray what you want. By asking questions about what they are doing you can ensure that you get a translation that suits your needs.

Translating Business Documents? Know What You Want

If you are interested in translating business documents then be sure to have a clear idea of what you want before you hire someone. Do you want a formal document or are you happy with an informal tone?

Be sure to make sure your translators know your clients or customers inside-out as you do and always ask questions if you don’t understand and encourage them to ask questions as well.

If you are interested in learning more about translating business documents then be sure to check out the rest of our site for more.