5 Signs of Unprofessional Chinese Translation Services

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When it comes to translation services, you’ll find numerous companies and individuals labeling themselves as professionals, but only a few would fit in that category because translation itself is a combination of skills, expertise, and talent.

However, a professionally translated document in Chinese is possible. On the other hand, there are also unprofessionally translated materials, and here’s a 5-point checklist for you to watch out:

1. Everything is Literal Syndrome

When working on a document, experienced translators must use a natural translation style with the proper idiomatic language for the Chinese language. Make sure they don’t take every word or precept literally, missing the core of the message.


2. Insensitive to Cultural Differences

The last thing you want to do is to insult your target readers because of the lousy translation and localization. There might be words and phrases from the original language, which might look offensive when translated into Simplified Chinese.

Aside from working hand-in-hand with your local project manager who knows the language and culture you want to target, it is also your responsibility to study the cultural differences. What works from the Western market cannot just only work in China.


3. Overlooking Small Details

Inexperienced translators usually settle for mediocrity that leads them to ignore small details, which can entirely affect the whole project. The wrong type of currency, typographical errors, inconsistent punctuations, sentence structure, missing symbols – these are small details, but they can make or break the translated copy of your document for good.


4. No Translation Workflow

Does the agency or individual translator follow a strict workflow of the translation process? If you don’t undergo through the process from steps 1-2-3, expect a poor copy of a document. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If you see that the agency you partner with has no systematized workflow, expect a low-quality output.


5. Doesn’t Welcome Feedback and Making Assumptions

Does the project manager ask several questions on how you want the project to materialize? It might be daunting for you to answer all the questions, but this is a good sign that they don’t want to make assumptions about the project.

At the end of the project, if they don’t ask for your feedback, even in between of the process of translation, then you might as well think twice if the project will be a good one. One of the most critical steps after translating and localizing documents is the QA part, and they should have one.