There are many important factors that need to be considered while doing any translation. When a message is translated it needs to be concise and easy to follow, this will help achieve a quality translation. In order to avoid meaning shifts or mistranslations, consider the following:
Translations should read as if they were originally written in the target language, so keep your writing, clear, simple and direct. Use bulleted lists to break up long paragraphs. Keep your sentences short, and minimize the use of compound and complex sentences. Review your writing to see if any sentences can be split up or shortened by deleting unnecessary filler phrases. Use active voice as opposed to passive voice, which is less direct and more difficult to translate.
Avoid culture-specific slang, idioms or expressions that will lose their meaning when translated. It’s also important to avoid using abbreviations, acronyms, and new technical terms that can cause confusion for both the learner and translator. In addition, try to avoid using gender-specific pronouns like he or she and instead target third person pronouns like they. Be concise, but don’t leave out necessary words.
A colloquial expression might not translate correctly to another language, or it could mean something different that might even be offensive to some cultures.
Bad translations can also have hilarious consequences, these funny signs are proof: