Clear Writing, Clear Benefits

When you get a text translated, do you care if the readers can understand it?

If not, then you can happily save money by finding the cheapest translator possible, and you can save time by not reading the rest of this article. But, of course, if you are going to communicate a message, then you want to put it across effectively.

What does that mean in practice? Continue reading

DIY English? How a professional editor can help you

English is the lingua franca of the world, and many people have studied it and can speak it quite well. But there is a world of difference between that and being able to write clear, correct, incisive English copy for a company website. Here is a real example (with the names changed to protect the innocent) of part of a travel-marketing text written by a non-native speaker to show what a professional edit can do. Continue reading

How to translate food without getting egg on your face

When people go on holiday, they want something different, a fresh contrast with their everyday lives – to encounter things that don’t exist in their own country, like new ways of eating and new foods.

If you run a hotel, a restaurant or a gourmet food business, for instance, one of the challenges you face is how to fully convey such delights to foreign visitors and customers. English holidaymakers have heard of spaghetti, Chianti and mozzarella, of course, but do they know about orecchiette, Negroamaro or paranza?

There are many issues to bear in mind.

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The 4-minute guide to buying a translation

If you haven’t commissioned a translation before, here is what to expect.

How much time should I allow?

A translation typically takes about 1 day for every 2,000 words. However, as I have many other clients, I am not always immediately available, although I can usually start work within a couple of days. So, to translate a 5,000-word text, it’s best to allow up to a week, although I can probably get a 500-word press release back to you in a day or two. But some periods are busier than others, so it’s always wise to contact me as soon as you can.

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10 ways to get the most from your translator

When you hire a translator, here’s how to get the best value from them.

  1. Provide the pictures. If your text for translation has images, pass them on. Some words can be impossible to translate if you don’t know what you are looking at – e.g. is a “porticato” a portico, a porch or an arcade? Armed with the visuals, your translator can produce a more accurate, appropriate translation for you.
  2. Continue reading

Why cheap translation is a big mistake

If you look around the web at the marketing materials that some Italian tourism businesses use, you can find a sea of bad translations.

Presumably, none of those companies intended to use a poor translation, but that’s what they ended up with. Perhaps the texts were put together by the cheapest translator they could find, or a friend or relative who knew some English. Or even Google Translate.

What is the problem with that?

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