The Polish language is an interesting one. It belongs to the Slavonic group of languages that are spoken around Eastern Europe, so it shares traits with Russian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, and Slovak. However, Polish is spoken all over the world -- thanks to all of the Poles who fled their home country back in the days of World War II and never went back.
As a result, if you do business in any corner of the globe, you'll likely need a Polish translation at some point.
So, what do you need to know if you're hiring a Polish translation pro?
1. Trust is crucial
Poles believe in establishing relationships with people before they hop into business with them. So, you won't just be able to do one English to Polish translation and call it a day. Instead, you'll likely have to send several translated documents before you can convince people to sign on the dotted line.
2. Do your homework
Typically, Poles don't make decisions based on emotion or pure opinion. Instead, they tend to make decisions based on solid facts. As a result, you'll have to make sure that your documents are chock full of facts and figures. Otherwise, your entire Polish translation could be a waste of time!
3. Some of the words may look similar to English
But don't get too comfortable! Some words in your Polish translation may look familiar, but they have a completely different meaning. A good example would be ‘angina’ which retains medical connotation in Polish but means ‘tonsillitis’ – quite a different ailment!
4. It's formal
You've probably heard about several languages that are more formal than English (like Japanese and Hungarian). While in English, especially in marketing and advertising texts, we tend to address our customers directly, the Poles prefer an indirect and formal approach. A good translator will be able to avoid this particular pitfall but if you’re preparing your documents just for the Polish market, it is a good idea to keep it mind
These dialects aren't completely different. For example, someone who uses one of them will still understand the gist of documents that are written in another Hungarian dialect. However, if you want your Hungarian translation to make the very best impression, you'll have to make sure that your documents end up in the appropriate dialect for the people who are going to be reading them.
5. The grammar is complex
In English, the sentence structure never changes. No matter what, each sentence is laid out in a Subject-Verb-Object pattern.
That's why a good English to Hungarian translation should always include a clear ending -- like "sincerely", "thank you for your time", "I wish you a good day", etc. If it doesn't, you may wind up inadvertently offending the recipient!
However, in Polish, the sentence structure is flexible. Polish nouns have different forms for expressing grammatical case, related to the function of the noun in a sentence. And this happens not only to the common nouns, but also to proper names. So don’t be alarmed if you see your name slightly changed in the Polish translation – you’ve just been ‘Polished’!
Polish, unlike English, uses genders. It is a good idea to make a clarification when needed to avoid confusion and possible embarrassment (e.g. a simple sentence like ‘J. Smith went to the shop’ will be translated differently, depending on whether J. Smith is a man or a woman).
6. Polish uses more words
Polish is a ‘wordy’ language and very often a concept that can be expressed in English in just two words may result in a ten word explanation in Polish. This can be especially true in certain types of texts and the resulting translation may be longer than original by as much as 30%. Something to remember if the text is supposed to fit predetermined layout.
Contact our corporate translation company for certified Polish into English and for English into Polish document translation or to hire a professional Polish interpreter for your deposition or medical appointment.