For fresh translators who are not familiar with the general rules in the localization field, they are likely to pay their full attention to the accuracy of the translation but ignore the formatting issues including space, punctuation, format size, etc. However, the format of the translation actually plays a crucial role for the overall quality of the translation. For translation service providers, poor formatting will greatly compromise the translation quality, resulting in customer complaints even loss of businesses.
To become a qualified linguist, eliminating any format issues is an essential prerequisite. It is easy to understand. Formatting is just like the outlook of a person. It is the first impression left for the others. When the client received your translated files, what he/she noticed firstly is formatting and then accuracy. On the other hand, it is just matter of attitude. Different from translation level that could not be improved without long term efforts, you can avoid such issues just within one or two days if only you have a responsible attitude.
To eliminate formatting errors, firstly you should be acquainted yourselves to the formatting rules. For details about formatting rules, please see my other two blogs, namely “标点符号和空格注意事项” and “格式注意事项”. After having a thorough understanding of all formatting rules, what you have to do is to bear them in your mind when translating. Please remember the priority principle is that the format of translation shall remain exactly the same as which the original document has.
As I mentioned above, fresh translators just pay attention to the accuracy. The readability of translation is easily compromised. It is another aspect that the fresh translators should pay more attention to.
When translating formal documents such as corporative policies, contracts, reports and agreements, we shall avoid use colloquial and informal tone. For example, never use “如果不知道就去问问管理员”. In contrast, you shall say “如有任何问题，请咨询管理员”. Meanwhile, we shall guarantee our translation sounds smooth to the native readers. If your translation reads like that “下面的显示在屏幕左上角中的图像表示可能的出现的问题的位置”, the readers would feel it is nonsense.
3. Develop and maintain a learning oriented attitude
Keep learning is the unique way to enable you to become a qualified translator, and comparing your original translation with the edited one is the best, most effective approach to help you to improve your skills. By comparing two copies of translation, you can easily find where you made errors and remember them. Along with reviewing the edited translation, you shall read extensively to enrich your knowledge.