Language focus | 03.12.2010

A job well executed

One of our colleagues came across an article on the BBC News website concerning a translation of a prison information booklet into Russian. It seems that “exercise yard” was erroneously translated as “execution yard”, which would, understandably, have caused some concern among the Russian inmates if a member of the prison staff had not spotted the error at proof stage.

This highlights the importance of having all translations checked thoroughly before delivery. Whether public information material, instruction manuals, legal documents or marketing material, the checking is as vital a part of the translation process as the translation itself.

At The Translation People we always offer our clients the option of having their translations checked by an independent proofreader, who is of course a native speaker of the target language. This is a way to ensure that the final translation will not cause embarrassment or anxiety, and will be a help – and not a hindrance – towards making global communication easier.

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