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6 Common Errors in Translation You Need to Avoid

6 Common Errors in Translation You Need to Avoid

Translation is the communication of meaning from one language to another language. The aim of translation is to convey the original tone and intent of a message, bearing in mind the cultural and regional differences between the two languages. During the process of Translation, translators need to fully understand the text and stay focused to provide a superior translation and of course, they need to know of the common errors other translators have committed so that they will avoid doing them.

the most common errors that take place during the translation process

Some common errors that occur during the translation process include mistranslations, omissions, additions, inconsistent terminology, and incorrect grammar or syntax. These errors can lead to misunderstandings and inaccuracies in the final translation, underscoring the importance of quality control measures.

Here are the most common errors that take place during the translation process:

1- Mistranslations

Mistranslation not only leads to a hilarious translation but also to serious consequences. A mistranslated word, especially in legal contracts or medical documents, can cost millions of dollars and even people’s lives. Also, there are certain words and phrases that have no equivalent in the target language; in such cases, it’s better to leave the original term. For instance, there are several Latin or French phrases that are used even in English documents. For example de facto, habeas corpus, and so on. A good translator should avoid such errors by simply having a second linguist proofread the translation and be familiar with such Latin or French expressions.

2- Literal Translation

It rains cats and dogs, which is an idiomatic expression that means it rains heavily. When it is translated literally, you lose the meaning and you will make a translation error. The literal translation is one of the most common mistakes translators commit. To avoid such errors, you can either look for appropriate idiomatic expressions in the target language or translate the actual meaning and not the idiom itself.

3- A Word-for-Word Translation

A word-for-word translation is, at best, inaccurate and at worst, embarrassing. When you translate word for word, the resulting text may not make much sense. Each language has its own style of sentence construction or syntax; in some languages, the entire sentence can be expressed in one word.

4- Use Incorrect Style

This is among the biggest errors in translation. Due to unfamiliarity with the target language, translators may translate a document without knowing its appropriate style. Each type of translation has its distinct style. For example, you can’t translate a medical or legal document the same way. This changes the essence of a script and, ultimately, purges its very soul. Using the correct style makes a huge difference in the final and provides a superior translation.

5- Ineffective Communication

Communication between the translator and the client is important as in any other business. If you communicate poorly with the client, there could be misunderstandings on both sides; you may not understand their requirements, and they may not realize your constraints. To establish a good understanding of a client, engaging with him in two-way communication is important. You need to interact with a client at every level of translation.

6- Exaggeration of Word Meanings

Translators tend to give their best in translation. But it is important not to exaggerate with technical words or complex sentences. It is important to understand what the client needs and to proceed accordingly. Keep the language simple if it’s for personal use, a guide, or a manual. But if it is required for publishing purposes, you need to follow the guidelines or standards of the publisher.


After the 6 common errors in translation articles, learning from your own errors gives you experience. It is very important to know your mistakes and avoid them to provide high-quality legal translation services in Dubai.

Ensure flawless translations by avoiding these 6 common errors. Trust our expert team for accurate and reliable translation services. Contact us today to eliminate translation mistakes.

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