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Hiring Polish Translation Services: The Top 4 Pitfalls

With everyone learning foreign languages nowadays, one could assume that professional translation is becoming obsolete. But if translating from one language to another were that straightforward, computers would be doing it for us by now. While machine translation is getting better and better, it still struggles when more complex grammatical rules need to be applied. And Polish is not a simple language, as you’ll find out.

1. Polish grammar — conjugation and declination.

Even a single word can function as a complete sentence in Polish. This is possible due to the extensive conjugation and declination system. For example, one verb can take different forms depending on the tense (just like in English), but also on the person, number and gender of the subject performing the action, among other things. This enables a degree of flexibility in the order of words within the sentence, as meaning is conveyed by word endings, not by a defined sequence. A Polish translation service should bear that in mind to make sure the end result sounds natural.

2. Intricacies of the Polish plural.

Continuing the subject of complex grammar, Polish nouns may require different forms of the plural depending on the number of objects used in the sentence. For example, “2 dogs” is 2 psy, but “5 dogs” is 5 psów. For a native Polish speaker, this is a no-brainer when it appears in a specific sentence to translate. But when the source text uses placeholders and the translation needs to be adjusted for all possible numbers, it’s best for a professional Polish translation service to work out an appropriate solution.

3. Problematic gender.

In Polish, nouns and adjectives have a grammatical gender. Additionally, there are occasions when verbs also assume gender-specific forms (mostly in the past tense). This gets especially tricky when a word’s gender can’t be determined from the source text, or when the text addresses an unspecified recipient who may be either male or female. Unprepared translators can easily forget that fact and translate with only one gender in mind, making readers of the opposite sex feel left out or even offended. Opt for a professional Polish translation service to avoid awkward situations like this one.

4. Passive or active voice?

English simply loves passive voice and uses it quite extensively. Polish, however, shows restraint in that regard. This is one of the traps that unprepared Polish translation services may fall into. There are numerous situations when using passive voice is technically correct, but sounds really strange to Polish speakers and should be avoided.

Looking for a professional Polish translator who can avoid all of the aforementioned pitfalls?

Fortunately, the professional Polish translators on our team are prepared to face these challenges. Come to us for an expert professional Polish translation service. We’re here to assist you!


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