• How to review a text translated into Italian

    How to review Italian translated texts

    Revision • 15.04.2021

    If you have translated your marketing materials in-house from English into Italian, it may be useful to know how to review Italian-translated texts by yourself. In fact, after a translation, it’s always a good idea to perform a revision, that is to say, a final check to spot some common mistakes that might have been made.

    So, if you want to know how to review Italian translated texts by yourself, read on. First of all, I will give you an overview of the revision process, then I will provide you with three specific tips (and a bonus one) to review your translations from English into Italian.

    But first, the basis.

    ​A checklist for your revision

    ​Write your text in advance

    Procrastination is a very common habit but try to write your text a few days ahead of its publication date. This way, you’ll be able to carry out the revision with a clearer head and you’ll read the text as if it’s the first time youve laid your eyes on it.

    ​Check your spelling and grammar

    Spellcheck your text this is a no-brainer. Typos and grammar mistakes make for sloppy content and give your audience the idea that you just don’t care about them. What’s more, make sure the software you’re using has a good spellchecking tool. Microsoft Word, for example, has a better grammar and thesaurus tool than Google Docs. Remember that you can also download additional dictionaries.

    ​Look for common mistakes

    Use the Find & Replace function to look for common mistakes, such as double spaces, double punctuation signs, broken ellipses, etc. Pay special attention to Italian adverbs: find the words ending in -mente (such as indubbiamente/undoubtedly, ovviamente/obviously, etc.) and see how many of them you have in your text. Indeed, having too many of these kinds of adverbs could denote insecurity in an Italian translated text, and they are sometimes seen as a way to reach a word count with empty words.

    ​Read it out loud

    If you’ve been staring at your text for a long time, you might just miss some blatant mistakes because you are “too close” to it. So, read it out loud: your ear will catch some mistakes or weird sentences that your eyes might not be able to notice anymore.

    Now let’s go through some specific tips on how to review Italian translated texts by yourself. You will even find a bonus tip at the very end of this article!

    ​Three tips to review a text translated from English into Italian before posting it

    If you have done an English to Italian translation and want to know how to review your Italian translated text, these are some of the language-specific issues you need to look for.

    ​1) Apostrophes and accents

    The use of apostrophes and accents in Italian is more common and structured than in English, so make sure you’re using them correctly. In Italian, apostrophes generally stand for a missing letter and articles are commonly used with apostrophes. For example, “l’amico” stands for “o amico” (the friend) and the apostrophe cuts off the vowel to make it sound nicer, while “un po’” stands for “un poco” (a little) and the apostrophe is used to shorten the word.

    On the other hand, accents are integral parts of the word. For example, “perché” (why/because) can only be written as such. You might not have accented letters on your keyboard, but forgoing accents is a very serious mistake!

    ​2) False friends

    A very common mistake is the use of false friends, that is to say, Italian words that sound similar to English ones but have a completely different meaning. Many of these words can create quite an embarrassing tale! For example, a mistake I’ve seen more times than I can count is the translation of “preservatives”, the substances used to preserve food. The correct Italian translation is “conservanti” but I’ve often seen it translated as “preservativi”, a word that in Italian means… condoms!

    ​3) To be or not to be

    The use of auxiliary verbs in Italian is different for some of the most common English expressions. For example, in English, one would say “I’m cold” or “I’m 30 years old”, using the verb to be/essere, but in Italian, all these expressions require the use of the verb to have/avere. In fact, the correct English to Italian translation is not “Sono freddo” and “Sono 30 anni vecchio”, but “Ho freddo” and “Ho 30 anni”.

    ​Bonus tip on how to review Italian translated texts

    It’s very important to know that most of these mistakes might not be picked up by your software with a spellcheck. This is due to the fact that most of these “wrong” words or sentences do mean something in Italian, but not what you’re trying to say! So the end result is just a Frankenstein text with no real meaning.

    To make sure that your text and marketing materials make sense to the Italian market, you should rely on a second pair of eyes, that is to say, an Italian native professional, who can easily spot not only lingering typos but many of the occurrences I’ve described above. If you feel this is just what you need, check out my revision service. You can contact me for a free analysis of your Italian text, and I’ll give you some feedback on whether it needs to be touched up!

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