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Reliable Sources: The Lifeblood of Good Translations

10/23/2017 by Sara Leonhartsberger

Although the expansive Internet has provided nigh unlimited access to a plethora of sources for translators, these sources are not equivalent in reliability. Much like journalists, translators should verify and adhere to reliable sources for their work, producing the most accurate and thereby highest quality translations possible. The translation industry has recognized certain organizations and associations for their reliability, while translation businesses have also established certain methods concerning sources to ensure accurate translations. At Strictly Spanish Translations, we utilize both the sources recognized by the translation industry and the sources we have generated through extensive work with our clients.

Within the translation industry, reliable dictionaries and glossaries are vital for insuring a good translation. Depending on the target language, a definitive dictionary emerges as the standard for language use that translators should implement within their translations. For Spanish, the organization Real Academia Española produces this dictionary, known as el diccionario de la lengua española; Strictly Spanish Translations utilizes this reference as a primary source, determining the best word choice in situations where multiple words may express similar yet not exact meaning. Additionally, in a collaborative effort, the translation industry has compiled an online source of terminology, ProZ.com, which serves as a verified glossary of difficult terms to translate. Whether translating a legal term, technical term, or idiom, Strictly Spanish Translations often consults this reference, producing the accurate translation into the target language. Furthermore, through partnership with clients in such specialized fields as the medical or legal field, Strictly Spanish Translations has created glossaries of terms directly associated with the field and client. After discovering the correct terminology through utilization of primary resources within these fields, such as the Mayo Clinic for the medical field, our team compiles this information into the glossary, promoting uniformity across all future translations for the client. 

Reliable sources are the lifeblood of good translations—without an objective standard for written language, translators would be mired in the subjective possibilities varied language often produces. While innumerable sources are accessible through the Internet, translators must adhere to verified sources, such as association dictionaries and glossaries, to ensure accurate translations. For our team, we strive to incorporate the industry’s verified sources and to generate our own, continuing our pursuit of quality translations.       

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