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How to Avoid Poor Translation Quality in 5 Easy Steps

If you consider translating your web or corporate content to other languages you hope it resonates with recipients and solidifies your company’s image. But how exactly can you assure high translation quality? Here are common reasons the translations may not live up to your high hopes:


Before translations are approved and published they usually are subject to editing by a reviewer and the same should go for the source text. Was the content checked for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors? Is it well written and engaging?

Keep in mind that long sentences are not only difficult to follow but they also present numerous translating pitfalls. We recommend you keep sentences relatively short, catchy and well structured.


A CAT tool (computer-aided translation) is a computer program that helps translate documents more efficiently by:

  • Breaking down text into segments which makes translating process easier, faster, and better organized
  • Saving translations into database called translation memory (TM) so that they can be reused for future projects. That means you only pay for the new part of the sentence if the content is similar to previously translated material. TM also facilitates consistency in the usage of certain terms.
  • Running multiple quality checks, such as length of text, line breaks, placeholders and HTML code

There are many great CAT tools on the market, with WordBee, WordFast Pro, SDL Trados and MemoQ consistently scoring very high.

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Before you hire a translation team make sure you provide them with an inside look at your business. Are there any industry specific terms that you use? How do your products look? It’s helpful when a description is accompanied by an image (when applicable) so the translators have visual reference.


If you decide to spend money on translations be sure you check translator’s credentials (if you hire a freelancer) or that you choose a reputable agency (not to confuse with the size: there are excellent small agencies). Per word fees, depending on the language and translator’s experience vary from $0.06 to $0.25. Anything below that should be treated with caution. Initial savings can turn into budget busters if you must redo the translation.


To assure the best quality the translation should be edited and proofread by a native reviewer. The evaluation performed by a second pair of trained eyes is essential to minimizing the risk of incorrect or inappropriate translations.

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