5 Simple Tips to Get the Most out of Your Translations

Pousse CrayonWhen you’re billed by the word, the saying “every word counts” rings doubly true. So before you send a text for translation, trim off the fat. Here are five simple tips to save you money and make your message punchier.

1. Say it once: State an idea or a piece of information once. Don’t rephrase it in the next sentence. If you’re worried that your readers might miss your main point, put it someplace where they can’t miss it, like in the title, subject line, or at the start of your first paragraph.

2. Cut out the “ly”: Adverbs (which typically end in “ly”) can often be eliminated without losing meaning.

OK: We are immensely happy to welcome Mark, an extremely knowledgeable accountant, to our team. (word count: 14)

Better: We are thrilled to welcome Mark, an expert accountant, to our team. (word count: 12

3. Use verbs: Nouns add bulk to your text. Opt for verbs instead and watch your word count drop.

OK: He gave his approval for the project. (word count: 7)

Better: He approved the project. (word count: 4

4. Get active: The passive voice ups your word count and is harder for readers to follow. The active voice is direct and easier to understand.

OK: The proposal was submitted by the team. (word count: 7)

Better: The team submitted the proposal. (word count: 5)

5. Read it over: It might seem obvious, but in the rush to meet deadlines it can be all too easy to skip this step. Take a minute or two to read over your text. Most likely you’ll find a few words or phrases that don’t really add anything to your text—so get rid of them!


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