Prevent translation problems with a pseudo translation

It’s a challenge to present the same message in Dutch as concisely as in French, and many German translators struggle to meet restrictions relating to the length of a translation. An Arabic text fits neatly onto an A4, but after translation into English, you need to make the font smaller or adjust the document design to achieve the same. And did you know that Japanese texts take half as much space as English texts?

Fortunately, you don’t need to wait until the translation is finished before possible problems are revealed. Thanks to a pseudo translation, problems immediately become clear, and a solution can be found.

What is a pseudo translation?

A pseudo translation is a kind of test translation that is made in preparation for a translation and generated based on a computer algorithm. It looks like this:

Who are we and for whom do we want to create value? Ŵįįē žįĵñ ŵįĵ ēēññ vöööȑ ŵįē ŵįļļļēñ ŵįĵ ŵåååȑđđē çȑēbȑēñ?$


In the result, you can clearly recognise the source language, but our tools take the estimated length of the translation into account. For example, with a pseudo translation from English to French, the algorithm will double the number of letters to take the length difference into account. The pseudo translation also includes strange characters and accents. These clearly show the difference with the source text.

What are the advantages?

A pseudo translation has various advantages. You can immediately check whether a lot of work will be required to the lay-out of your document after the translation. Perhaps your Dutch translation doesn’t quite fit in the same space as the original Portuguese text. Or maybe the format of one image needs to be adjusted to be able to show the text properly.

When translating software and applications, you can also save a lot of time by importing a pseudo translation into your software beforehand. You can then immediately see which strings are too long and will block your software or app. You can also see whether your application supports all the characters used in the other language. In this way, you can better anticipate such problems. For example, two days before an official release date, when your translation into Spanish is already finished, you don’t want your software to crash at every ñ or that the lay-out of your text doesn’t look good. Because the source text is always recognisable in the pseudo translation, you can also easily see whether all the text on buttons will be clearly visible in the translation. So a good reason to test the translation before embarking on the real thing!

Do you regularly deal with software translations or documents with a complex lay-out? Would you like to receive a pseudo translation of your documents before starting on the translation? Wilkens c.s. can certainly help you! Contact our project managers free of obligation on +32 (0)9 265 00 40 or via

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