Don’t fall for these traps! Avoid easy to spot mistakes in translation

Idea TranslationsBest PracticesDon’t fall for these traps! Avoid easy to spot mistakes in translation

Have you ever read a translation riddled with errors? Poor translations can be hilarious, but they can also be extremely damaging to your business’s reputation. To make sure that your translations are accurate and error‑free, it’s important to understand the most common mistakes translators make and how to avoid them. Let’s take a closer look.

False Friends:

They occur when two languages have words that are similar in form or spelling but have different meanings. To avoid false friends, translators need to understand the cultural context of the text so they can accurately convey its meaning in the target language. Additionally, professional translation services often rely on computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to help them identify false friends and other potential issues in their translations.

Literal Translations:

They arise when a translator takes a direct approach without considering the nuances and complexities of the text. This type of mistake is especially common when translating idiomatic expressions or phrases from one language into another. Literal translations can also result from careless use of automatic machine translation tools without any human intervention. To avoid these types of mistakes, translators must pay close attention to how each phrase is used in its original context and think about how it will sound once translated into another language.

Lexical Gaps:

No language pair is the same; each language has its own set of words and expressions that may not exist in the other. This difficult-to-translate concept is known as a lexical gap and can lead to confusion if not handled correctly by an experienced translator who understands both cultures equally well. The best way to handle lexical gaps is by finding creative ways around them—for example, by using synonyms or descriptive phrases—in order to accurately convey the original message without losing any nuance or context in translation.


There is an omission when a translator fails to include an entire word or phrase. This often happens when the translator is unfamiliar with the source language or simply overlooks the translation of words or phrases. To prevent omissions, always double-check for any neglected words in both languages before submitting the translation.

Undertranslation and Overtranslation:

Undertranslation occurs when a text is translated without taking into account its full meaning, while overtranslation is what happens when a text is translated with too much information added in from other sources or references outside of the original text itself. To avoid under or overtranslated texts, it’s important for translators to have an intimate knowledge of both source and target languages.

Translating documents from one language into another requires skill and precision, especially when dealing with specific terminology and technical jargon associated with certain industries or fields of study. It’s important for all translators—professional or amateur—to be aware of these common errors so as not to lose sight of accuracy during translation processes.

Thankfully, there is an effective way to prevent these types of mistakes from happening – by taking a holistic approach to translation services.

Holistic translation service is a process in which language specialists and subject matter experts work together to deliver high-quality translations that are both linguistically accurate and contextually relevant. This method ensures precision and adds value to each project, especially when dealing with complex material.

How does it work? When working on complex materials such as scientific papers, holistic translation services employ both language specialists and subject matter experts who have the required knowledge in that particular field. So, the accuracy of the translations increases greatly. 

All in all, adopting a holistic approach to translations is essential for anyone looking for high-quality results quickly!​

You might also like