Secrets To Top Translators’ Success

Posted on December 19, 2016 By


We approached four of our most successful translators in the hospitality, finance, medical, and fashion sectors, and asked for their insights on how to produce consistently high-quality translation. In this edition of LINGUIST, we present our translators’ insights on the finance and fashion sectors.


  1. Keep abreast of industry trends and financial news (e.g., market updates, interest rates, Central Bank movements).
  2. Collect and make a list of useful websites for reference. For example, in Hong Kong, these sites are useful: Glossaries of Terms Commonly Used in Government (Civil Service Bureau); Bilingual Laws Information System (Department of Justice); HSBC Global Asset Management (Hong Kong).
  3. Use the internet to confirm official names and titles of the company, its senior executives, fund managers, and other positions and names.
  4. If you are having difficulty understanding the text or terms, seek background information — never guess.
  5. Some English words have several meanings (e.g., funds, rates, stocks). Clarify before you proceed.
  6. Fluency is very important: do not simply translate the words. Your readers need to understand what you have written, so sometimes you will need to rewrite or re-organise the sentences for better flow.
  7. When you have finished your translation, step away from it, and then come back to re-read it before submitting it to the client, and revise as needed.

– Sauha L.


  1. Master fashion jargon and terms. Fashion is a rapidly changing industry. Double-check new or unfamiliar terms. For example, ear jackets are earrings, not jackets.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the brand’s glossary. Different brands might have different existing translations for the same fashion term or product. Keep this in mind as you work, as clients expect consistency in word choices. If no glossary has been provided, you can still do a thorough research on the brand and the terms it consistently uses by reviewing the client’s website or promotional materials.
  3. Do some research on the brand’s personality. A brand might be lively, humorous, elegant, or subtle. Its personality should be reflected in the translation’s tone through choice of words and style.
  4. Remember that you are localising. A successful translation should leave local audiences with a clear, relevant, and relatable image of the product. It might help you to create a mental picture of the product in your head, and think about how the target culture might describe the same image.

– Connie W.

In the next edition of LINGUIST we will bring you insights on the hospitality and medical sectors.

Please follow and like us:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *