Combatting Language Blindness

Combatting Language Blindness

In the context of translations and localization services, the term “language blindness” is a frequent phrase. Professionals are often involved in business writing every day, from proposals to correspondence to marketing materials. It is essential to use a formal style of paper if you plan on having your writing translated into foreign languages or if you have a non-native English speaker audience. When you use native language objectivity in professional writing, it helps to avoid confusing words and phrases that could cloud your meaning or alienate your audience.

Language Blindness: The Phenomenon

People write the same way they speak. The habits and quirks that come with speech patterns are reflected in the written word. Americans love colloquialisms, jargon, and non-standard usage. These patterns are likely to be reflected in your writing, even if you’re not a professional or academic writer. The process is automatic, so you don’t notice it in your essay or the paper of others. You assume that the intended meaning will be understood. This phenomenon is sometimes known as personal language usage or language blindness. While it is not usually a problem to be blind to non-standard usage, it can make it more challenging to localize your writing to another audience.

The importance of creating text objectively.

Your audience will understand your language and your context if they speak the same language as you. If you write to a client explaining that you want to “take the bull by its horns” and solve a problem, another American will understand your meaning. This idiom is not understood outside the United States and can be confusing. Another common usage of the word “impact” is to refer to “affect” and “influence.” The term “impact” is used in most languages to refer to a collision or crash. Even if you speak English fluently, a non-native English speaker may be concerned to hear that you want to create a positive collision in his business. It is essential to be objective when composing, especially if your writings are going to be translated or seen by non-native English speakers.

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How to improve your language objectivity

It can be challenging to change your speaking patterns. You may need to put more effort into your writing. When writing the text for translation, take your time and think about the overall meaning of your words. A proofreader can help you catch confusing words and phrases. You can use MS Word to turn on grammar checking. This will detect cliches, colloquialisms, and jargon. While automated grammar checkers are very effective, they will not catch every non-standard usage.

To ensure your text is objectively written, you might consider hiring a professional editor. This is particularly important if the document will be translated or localized in another language. If the translator does not have to stop and figure out what you mean or use the correct subjective language usage, it will save time as well as money. Your overseas business transactions may go more smoothly if you can recognize your language blindness and overcome it.