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The objectives of a translation

What are the goals or objectives of a translation?

Before starting any translation, it’s important to define your objectives — some questions you should consider are:

  • Who is the intended audience of your document? 
  • Is it an internal memo or external advertising copy? 
  • It is a technical document? For example, a manual or a catalogue
  • With this copy, are you hoping to inspire your audience, or to inform them? 

In other words, what are you hoping to achieve with your translation, in the corporate world? These are key points to address in the translation process.

Objectives of a translation


For marketing collateral, a slightly less literal approach is often appropriate. It’s more important for marketing material to have the right tone, than for exact literal accuracy. A good translation will render the original text in a tone, and style, appropriate to the market for which it is intended. 

Remember though, if it took five people half a day to agree on the phrasing of one sentence in the original text, this effect is multiplied in the translation process. There is always a payoff between total accuracy and appropriate phrasing. Two translators will often give different (but equally good!) versions of the same collateral.

Technical / Financial

For a technical document (an installation manual, for example, or an Annual Report), accuracy is crucial. Even the smallest imprecision or paraphrase could have serious consequences. With technical documentation, the most important aspects of a translation are precision, accuracy and consistency. It is important to maintain consistency when translating technical terms. To this end a glossary can be very useful (often essential).

QuickSilver offers flexible payment solutions (including credit card and Paypal) for all sorts of projects. In other words, there is no project too large or too small. We do everything from reviewing or editing marketing copy, to translating and designing product catalogues and websites. At QuickSilver Translate, we endeavour to offer the most cost-efficient, high-quality solutions available.

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