How to Translate Your Graduate Degree

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When you go from a country to another and need to use your degree for a specific purpose, like getting employed, things can get very tricky. Depending on where you’re going, you might need a translation of the document. After all, you can’t expect a foreigner to understand a diploma in a language they most likely don’t master.

However, translating a diploma is not that easy. A diploma is not something you can translate at the snap of your fingers – you need to take your time and make it accurate. It’s a rule of thumb since it’s an academic document.

What do you need to do as a translator to make sure your graduate degree translation is on point? What are the rules you should follow no matter what? You will find them below.

  • Take Your Time

One of the main rules of graduate degree translation is that you should not rush it. Everything should be carefully looked over, to ensure you don’t miss anything or don’t make any mistakes.

After all, you need to think of the educational source of the source and target, as well as have enough knowledge of the languages, culture, and everything else.

  • Translate, Don’t Explain

When you translate, you don’t have to explain anything. Translation is nothing else but adapting a text from a language to another. That being said, going into depth with explaining why a thing is the way it is would not be welcome.

In other words, translation is not an explanation. In certain situations, it’s possible to have to include the equivalent of a specific thing in the original language, in parenthesis. But even then, you should refrain from explaining what the thing means or why it’s included there.

  • Equivalence of Grading Systems

You’re most likely aware that countries have different grading systems. While some use numbers to specify a grade, others might use letters. So, on the translated document, there will also have to be provided the grade in the translated language, where it applies.

Keep in mind that countries have their specific institutions or authorities that deal with grading equivalence so they can compare and certify them. If you work for translation services, you should know that translation businesses have a database of terms, as well as terminology management to make sure every text is localized.

Since your job is to translate, you will have to translate the text on the diploma, and the client is the one that will request an institution for the grading equivalence. That means you can’t simply do a Google search to write it yourself, so be very careful when it comes to this.

  • Use Reference Materials when Possible

Does the client have some reference materials that will help you translate the diploma? That’s even better. Don’t be afraid to ask them to provide said materials, as the translation process will take less, and the work itself will be much easier.

One such reference material would be the one referring to explaining the abbreviations on the diploma. It’s very useful, so use anything similar to this that will ease your job.

  • Request Cleaner Copies

Let’s be honest, nobody likes to receive a messy document and having to use their time to guess what they have to translate. Time is money, after all. If the degree looks bad and the copy is illegible, the document is considered suspicious and may not be taken into consideration. As the translator, you have the right to ask for a much readable, cleaner version. It’s in the interest of both you and your client. Copies that have ink marks or white-out areas are immediately suspicious.

When you translate, you have to provide a good, accurate translation. How would that be possible if you won’t even be able to make out what’s written on the copy? Always ask for one of better quality.

  • Double Check Everything

You have to check everything after translating to make sure no mistakes have been made. As a rule of thumb, double-checking will prevent you from having the copy sent back by the client, complaining that the translation is inaccurate or you’ve made grammar mistakes. Go over the text for a few times, and see if you’ve done everything right the first time around. If you notice mistakes, fix them before handing the translated graduate degree to the client.

Final Thoughts

You’ve got a difficult job as a translator, and you have a lot of responsibilities. It’s important to make sure everything is going good for you and the client. So, don’t forget to work hard to ensure a good translation. Don’t explain anything, and use your time wisely. Not to mention, check the document when the work’s done.

Hopefully, if you ever receive a graduate degree for translation, you can put these rules to use.

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