Besides the obvious capabilities of translators, you can benefit from having a translator on your team. Translators have a set of skills useful for those who care about clear communication.
Translators can help you find the right word and the best possible terminology.
Accuracy matters to translators; they have a rich vocabulary and they are not deterred by the research they have to do to find the right word – should it not come to mind on the spot. Synonyms, for all their similarities, are not born equal. Ask translators for their opinion on such and such choice of words; you will be surprised to realize the two words you thought to choose from are not necessarily so synonymous after all or not fully suitable.
Along the same line, they will notice wrong words and provide the appropriate one.
e.g. The Boards of Directors reiterated the amendment to the agreement through the signatures of official representatives.
Does it strike you as odd? At the very least, it should give you pause. The right verb is “to ratify“.
Terminology and dictionaries are to a translator what keys and wrenches are to a mechanic; they could not do their jobs without them. Since translators work day in day out with terminology, they know resources you do not and therefore, they will find answers more easily than you might.
Translators can help you convey a clear and potent message.
Translators perform textual analysis on each text they translate and, after a while, they unconsciously analyze everything they read. For this reason, they will easily find ways to improve your text. Among other textual weaknesses, they will notice:
- Redundancy and wordiness:
e.g. Redundancy and wordiness are not signs of education or linguistic mastery; they are, for all intents and purposes, logs, brick wall, holes, locked doors that impede the reader’s ability to understand a text on a first read. Too many words, repeated words, too many allusions to the same content will, in the long run, undoubtedly, confuse the reader.
Concise statement: Redundancy and wordiness hinder comprehension.
- A weak structure:
Clunky transitions, weak logic, unsatisfying explanations, bad syntax and grammar will undermine your message. Translators can help you fix these issues. If you give them carte blanche and answer all their questions, they can reshape your text, give it a sound structure, and hand in a well-written text.
Missing double consonants, a missing or unnecessary hyphen, a double-space when a hard space is all you need are the types of error translators easily spot. Proofreading is a recurrent task in their daily routine.
Translators can suggest edits.
If you find yourself writing a piece of communication and cannot shake the feeling your text could be better but you cannot pinpoint the exact issue, ask translators to read it. Translators are good revisers and editors. Their honed skills in textual analysis will serve you well. They will provide you with valid suggestions.