17 Sep 6 practical tips for scientific translation
Do you have a scientific translation to do and want some tips on how to get it done perfectly? You have probably already seen some tips to help with medical translations, but here we want to focus on scientific translation, as it has its own specific features. Read on to find out more!
Tips for scientific translation
Here you will find some practical tips which will help with any scientific translation, especially when translating from English into your native language. So let’s take a look:
Never invent or create new words for your scientific translation. The English language can be a tricky, especially in the field of science; always double check and pay careful attention to this because you might be using terms that don’t exist in your native language and this, of course, would be a scientific translation mistake.
2. Decimals and figures
In English, decimals are represented with a point (3.0, 232.56, 912.091), but in many other languages this becomes a comma. Be very careful with your scientific translations as this might lead to a serious misunderstanding. Conversion units are also subject to mistakes, such as amounts of money, doses of medicines, statistics and more. This can all change which can in turn lead to catastrophes.
3. Sentences that are too long
Unnecessarily long sentences and complex syntax only lead to misunderstandings. Be as clear as possible with your reader. A scientific translation must be concise, precise and accurate. Clear and short sentences are the key when doing a scientific translation.
4. Conditional tense
You may not realise it, but the conditional tense is one of the most common mistakes in scientific translation. Words such as may, might, can, could, should or shall are the trickiest because nuances can completely change the meaning of the sentence. You should think carefully about any conditional tenses and what probability you want to express. A drastic, unequivocal or conclusive statement might offer a slightly different point of view.
5. False friends
Any translation must pay attention to false friends, but this is obviously even more important in fields related to health. Scientific translation may focus on research, testing or even human lives. So do not confuse information and avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Last but not least, in order to translate a scientific text you must understand the text to be translated. Otherwise, you may end up with an incorrect or not very flowing translation, where the right terminology is often not used.
Keep these tips for scientific translation in mind, your readers will really appreciate it
Now you have seen the most practical tips for producing the best scientific translations. It may sound easy, but actually it sometimes isn’t. Luckily, in such cases you can always use Okomeds‘ professional translators. Whatever the difficulty of the text, they will always take all these aspects into account.