Translators my find themselves in ambiguous situations in the relations with their clients. The documents to be translated may have repetitive or redundant parts that somewhat render their work futile. It is therefore advisable that the translator and the client reach an agreement concerning the truly relevant information that should be supplied. It may prove more convenient to translate only the relevant fragments of existing documents or to edit smaller versions and translate them.
Another special situation of a technical nature is the use of images or pictograms / diagrams to successfully replace ample documentation or excessively technical descriptions. This is what international corporations or producers do, indicating various information by means of universal pictograms and diagrams accompanied by just a few words.
When you accept to translate a document, it is important to ask the client to provide additional explanations about the end use of the translation. There are considerable differences between sales brochures and technical descriptions, between newspaper items and tender documentations etc. Thus, the style, the form of address, the choice of words, the topic, the length of the sentences will vary according to the final destination of the text and the desired effect. Information about the target group and the communication channel should therefore be provided in order to ensure maximum impact of the translation.
In relation to the last issue above, another important element is the language of the reader. Who is the text addressed to? What is their native language? Many confusing situations can be avoided from the start if the translator is informed about the target group and their respective native language. There are notable differences between the Romanian language and the Moldovan language or between the Spanish spoken in Madrid and that spoken in Mexico City, as is the case between British and American English.
One last advice would be to always perform a final check of your translation in terms of grammar, syntax and style. It would do no harm to also check the technical terms used (if any) to avoid compromising the translated text.