Without context there is no meaning

We’ve all heard our philosophy professors mention this once or twice – and it turns out they were right.  When you’re sending your material off for translation, don’t forget to provide as much context as you can – a step often overlooked.

No context most often means wrong  translation, and wrong translation always means spending much more money and time to fix, not to mention the potential safety issues for sensitive material.

Sometimes, it’s just a humorous translation gaffe that would translate ‘glasses’ (drinking glasses), as ‘glasses’ (eyeglasses). But often times, wrong translation due to lack of context has serious consequences.  A simple image or definition would have given the translator a clear meaning.

So before you send your safety manual to your translation agency, make sure you also include the following:

  • All images of the product(s)
  • Definitions of industry terms
  •  Glossaries
  •  Any extra information you have on the product that the translators don’t (this could be anything from past translations you have to who will be using the product)

Give us a call at 613.686.1278 for more details or a free translation estimate!


Felicia Bratu

Felicia Bratu is the operations manager of wintranslation, in charge of quality delivery and client satisfaction. As a veteran who has worked in many roles at the company since 2003, Felicia oversees almost every aspect of the company operations from recruitment to project management to localization engineering. She recently received certification as a Localization Project Manager as well as Post-Editing Certification for Machine Translation. Felicia holds a BSc. in Industrial Robotics from the University of Craiova, Romania.