Document Translation: 10 Common Mistakes


Medical document translation services including forms, authorizations, patient information, instructions, documents

Document translation shouldn't be left to anyone but the professionals.  Rapport Translations has been in the language translation business for over 20 years and can help you with all your document translation projects.  Below are 10 Common Mistakes to watch out for:

  1. Poorly written forms are hard to translate
  2. Not enough white space – text expands
  3. Too many fill in the blanks.  The form answers will be easier to compile and read if you use drop down menus rather than having to translate the answers.  Use open answer responses only when necessary.
  4. Not tracking edits on the original document.  When editing translated forms, the translator can go precisely to the edits if they are tracked.  If the translator has to read the whole document, then it takes more time and expense.
  5. Not clarifying who will use the form.  French for Haiti is very different than for Canada.
  6. Asking for too quick a turnaround.  Mistakes happen.  You allow time to write it, allow time to translate.
  7. Sloppy formatting:  Allow room.  Use the international date format or explain which order (in the US, we say m/d/yr whereas internationally, it’s usually d/m/yr.  Allow for currency conversion if necessary.
  8. Not marking the version, date or language on the form.  Doing so allows for version control and easier editing and use.
  9. Complex or inappropriate layout.  As with any form, the easier it is to read and use, the easier time the reader will have.  Make sure accommodations are made for any translated form.  Is it what the language reader would expect?  Make sure pictures are culturally relevant.
  10. Translation costs – make sure to budget appropriately.  If the form is laid out in a design program, it will cost more for a layout person to drop the translated text in.  If it’s a simple form in Word, the translation can be done in the form retaining the layout.

Categories: Boston Translation Agency, Language Translation & Interpretation, Language Translation


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