Best English to Tagalog Translators: The world is a melting pot of diverse cultures and languages. Thanks to globalization, physical borders are no longer limiting interactions, so there’s more connection between businesses. This connection creates a need for effective communication to ensure the business runs effectively.
Although English is the world’s lingua franca, Tagalog is quickly coming up as the second most spoken language globally. This has seen an increase in the number of English and Tagalog-speaking companies doing business together. If you are looking for the best translators to bridge the gap between these two languages, here are a few tips to help you out.
- Take note of the cultural differences
English-speaking cultures differ quite considerably from Tagalog-speaking communities. You should pay attention to cultural differences, such as the difference in directness between these two languages. Some cultures, mostly English-speaking ones, prefer direct messages and explicit information in their text or conversions as opposed to subtle implicit cues. These cultures are referred to as explicit or low context cultures.
Tagalog-speaking cultures, on the other hand, communicate a lot more subtly. English to Tagalog translators shouldn’t overlook this cultural element. Translating these languages is not merely code conversion; you must factor in these cultural differences to get culturally acceptable translations. If not, you risk having the target audience perceiving the message quite differently than what you intended. Tagalog speakers, for instance, might view the translation as too literal and too condescending.
- Understand that Tagalog is longer than English
English is grammatically denser than Tagalog. This means that more information is conveyed in fewer syllables when compared to Tagalog. You need about 25 per cent more space to transmit a Tagalog message initially written in English. For example, a 100-word English text might end up being 130 words in Tagalog. This difference occurs for several reasons, such as a difference in sentence structure and the alphabet. The Tagalog alphabet has 27 letters and not 26 like the English alphabet. If you have a website or an app, you will have to allocate more characters and space for headers or call-to-action buttons if you want them translated to Tagalog or else they won’t fit.
- Consider which dialect you are using.
Tagalog is a rich, diverse language, and you must account for this when targeting Tagalog speakers. There are several Tagalog dialects across the globe, and they all differ from each other. However, although these variations are not so significant that it causes a communication problem, you have to pick one dialect for your translations. The goal is to ensure that you don’t alienate part of your audiences with some form of artificial or internalized Tagalog, featuring local expressions from different dialects. A good English to Tagalog translator finds out which dialect is spoken by your target audience. Is it European or Latin American Tagalog? You can also go deeper within each of these groups and find out which variety it is. If your target audience is broad, you may need to get different translations for each dialect.
- Factor in localization
Tagalog is deeply rooted in culture, which means you have to take care of the language’s singularities. Translators should adapt the context of the message to what fits locally. For instance, if your English text is a baseball story, this might work in Tagalog-speaking countries such as Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where baseball is a national sport. However, people in the Philippines might have a more challenging time relating. For them, it may be worth changing the story to a more relatable sport such as soccer or football. It is referred to as transcreation, a form of translation that requires rewriting a story to adapt it to the locals to get the same effect in every market.
- Beware of grammatical ambiguity
Some languages can omit subject pronouns and still make sense. These are referred to as pro-drop languages. These languages allow for the omission of the pronoun when the semantic subject can be contextually inferred. This means that you don’t need to make it known if the subject can be inferred explicitly.
This isn’t a problem when translating from English to Tagalog. Still, it can affect Tagalog to English translation because some verb inflexions are the same for more than one grammatical subject. To translate text requires more cognitive effort and even making assumptions, which can lead to mixed messages. Since Tagalog is a fully pro-drop language, you should factor in grammatical ambiguity.
If you are in doubt, ask. It’s that simple. Your translator is here to help you. English to Tagalog translators are more than just linguists. They are consultants too. Ask them what their thoughts are and trust their guidance. Translation involves more than switching one word for another. It’s working with words, language, and meaning.