Translation Guide

CL-Communication GmbH

Mönchengladbach - Köln

Your professional translation service

When you assign CL-Communication with a translation, you basically enter a partnership with our translation service. We understand the translation process as a collaboration between you and us. In order to achieve the best possible outcome, you should also try to get involved in the translation process. Because, only if you inform your translator or translation service properly, can you expect a flawless final product. A fleeting instruction like "please have that translated" can provide you and us with a lot of trouble in specific circumstances. Therefore please take a few minutes of your time to discuss the project with us in detail.

But before you place a translation order, you should consider the following: Is a translation necessary at all? Can the text be shortened? Can specific parts of the text possibly be replaced by images, symbols or diagrams?

Prepare the text for translation

You should generally deal more critically with the text you want to have translated. Often it makes sense to remove certain parts of a text. Experience has shown that certain sections of a text may well be unnecessary. These include, for example, elaborations, lists of names or products, phrases limited to a specific culture, or other divagations. It can often be a good idea to translate only the relevant sections of your text. Perhaps it would make sense to write a summary of the text in your language and then actually only have that translated.

The old saying goes: "a picture is worth a thousand words", and according to that motto, you should try to use text only if the same statement cannot be communicated better with other means. In an international context, carefully thought through graphical means (e.g. symbols and diagrams) are often much more effective than complex or wordy descriptions. Internationally recognizable icons, such as those used in many international airports or in the assembly instructions for furniture from international manufacturers, are a good example.

Write new texts "internationally"

Especially when writing new marketing texts or other creative texts, you should avoid using idioms and metaphors that may only be of meaning in your own culture. In that way you cannot only avoid our translators having to come up with far-fetched plays on words, puns and other stylistic contortions, but can also ensure that the text is understood better in an international environment. What often applies in such cases is the KISS motto: "Keep It Short and Simple".

Of course, nothing can be said against a little bit of local "seasoning", but before you do so, you should ideally seek the advice of a native speaker to ensure that a transfer into the other language is actually possible without too many problems. Of course you can gladly call on the services of CL-Communication’s native speakers at this stage. We would be more than happy to assist you. It goes without saying that we can adapt the translated texts to fulfil specific local needs (including local metaphors or puns if necessary), but you must be aware that your communication will be more successful in an international environment if you try to adhere to the KISS motto.

Important information for your translation

When placing a translation order at CL-Communication not only the specialist field and language combination are of relevance, but also the following information:

- intended use

- target group

- tonality / type of address

- comparative texts

- vocabulary lists

We therefore ask you to give us as much information about the text as possible. In that way you can rest assured that you will receive a translation that will have the maximum impact on the intended target group. When translating a text, the tonality, type of address, choice of words and sentence structure strongly depend on the actual purpose of the text and the intended target group. After all, a speech is no website, a product brochure is no safety data sheet, and a press release is no sales proposal.

Finally, we would kindly ask you to provide any comparative texts (similar texts/translations) or vocabulary lists that you may have. These will help us to find the right tonality, and to use company-specific words and phrases. For example, let’s take the head of a company, who in English can be called anything from "Managing Director" and "CEO" to "COO", "President" or "Director", depending on the company and the location of the company.

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