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Scientific texts in any language have certain peculiarities that some professionals assume are worth the same in the source language as in the target language, without noticing that the result may be in violation of the most basic rules of either the language or the terminology.

Translating scientific texts requires a flexible mind to understand abstract concepts and an outstanding rigor to faithfully translate a series of data that should not contain any kind of mistake. In general, there are five common mistakes linguists can commit in the translation of scientific texts:

1. Long sentences: when looking for literary quality, scientific writers as well as translators can fall into writing very long and tricky phrases that can cause the loss of the meaning of the message, as well as the loss of the reader’s attention.

2. Making mistakes with decimals: units of measurement used can vary from language to language. Scientific translators must know the conversion units to avoid headaches. For example, in English decimals are separated by a point, while in Spanish they are separated by a comma.

3. Failing to translate units of measurement: in many countries units of measure are different. In Latin American countries, for example, people may not know how much an acre. A translation of the type "after falling 30 feet" is clearly wrong. For this, the translator must convert units of measure and clarify equivalence.

4. Equivalence of acronyms: when translating a scientific article, it is very important to take into account the acronyms found within the text because if they are not translated the article may cause confusion in the readers.

5. Incorrect order in the syntax: it is an acre measure when translating to respect the rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language, usually including word order.

There you have it, five of the most common mistakes you should keep an eye on if your main field of action is Scientific translation. Don’t overestimate the importance of formal aspects in translation, they can prevent readers to understand the content and lastly hurt the original text by not delivering it truthfully in the second language




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