Trust us, learning English idioms is a piece of cake

English idioms

Idioms are expressions or phrases with figurative, non-literal meanings, which easily confuse language learners. They are often unique to a country or region and, as such, offer a glimpse into local cultures and ways of thinking. Learning English idioms can be great fun and very useful.

Familiarising yourself with idioms truly deepens your knowledge of the colloquial, everyday language which will give you a great advantage if you are thinking about travelling, working, or settling in that country. If you’re heading to the UK and want to impress the locals with your English abilities, brush up on your idioms sharpish!

Turn yourself into an advanced level English speaker

If you’ve been learning English for a while and have reached a level where you can hold your own in everyday situations, it’s time to take it to the next level. Having knowledge of some of the most common idioms will help you communicate better, and give you a deeper understanding of songs, TV shows, and books in English. Not to mention using them will impress any native you meet and chat with!

As idioms are often regional, native English speakers that are not from Britain could also do with studying British idioms if they plan to visit the UK. Knowing these phrases demonstrates deeper cultural awareness and will aid in social integration, earning respect for your language skills from the Brits in no time.

A good place to start

We’ve come up with a list of 11 frequently used British idioms for you to peruse and add to your vocabulary. Once you’ve learned the real meaning of these idioms and how to use them correctly, you’ll sound like you’ve lived in the UK for years.

  1. You don’t know your arse from your elbow – we are not referring to someone who has a poor understanding of biology, but instead someone who has made a mistake or keeps getting things wrong. Be careful with this one, it’s best used in very informal settings!
  2. Working your socks off – this has nothing to do with removing anyone’s socks and actually refers to a person that is working extra hard.
  3. It’s a piece of cake – if the English were actually referring to cake with this one, we’d need more bakers! When used this means that something is really easy.
  4. I’m over the moon – an unlikely place to be, unless we are referring to being really happy, a much more frequent occurrence.
  5. The ball’s in your court – not only used when playing sport as you may have guessed, it actually means that the decision or power lies with you. It’s your choice.
  6. You’re barking up the wrong tree – no dogs involved when using this term, or trees for that matter! It simply means that the person in question has misunderstood, or got the wrong idea.
  7. Biting off more than you can chew – this phrase is not about some hungry person stuffing their face with food. Instead, it refers to someone who has taken on more than they can manage.
  8. It costs an arm and a leg – don’t worry, no limbs have been used as a form of payment! This is a way to express that something was very expensive.
  9. At the drop of a hat – no reference to headgear here; this just means that something is done instantly.
  10. You’ve missed the boat – this doesn’t mean you’re late for your travel plans or missed your holiday, it’s an expression of being too late to make the most of something or having missed an opportunity.
  11. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch – you don’t have to be a farmer to use this one! This expresses the need to wait for an outcome before assuming a result.

The importance of learning English idioms for language professionals

If you’re a language teacher, interpreter, translator, or content writer working in a foreign language or between a foreign language and your own, knowledge of idiomatic terms is crucial. Idioms and proverbs are an ideal way to directly connect with a native speaker, crossing linguistic and cultural barriers and demonstrating mastery of their language.

This is why at BeTranslated we assure all our professional translators are certified native speakers, guaranteeing cultural sensitivity in our translations, both in understanding the source text and writing the final translation.

Now you’re well on your way to communicating like a true English speaker!

Now that you’ve started learning some British idioms, you’ve taken a huge step towards sounding like a true native. Remember there are hundreds of more idioms out there! Why not challenge yourself to learn one a day for the next two weeks?

Are you working on your English in order to improve relations with British clients? Are you in need of a reliable translation service to work on your business documents, marketing material, or web content, in a professional and authentic way? Contact BeTranslated today for more information or a free, no-obligation quote.

6 tips for hiring translators for your international B2B deals

business to business

Many businesses aiming to expand beyond the domestic market concentrate on B2B sales; sales between businesses, rather than between a business and an individual customer (B2C). If your company plans to pursue B2B deals with companies overseas, the creation and delivery of a high-quality B2B marketing campaign is paramount. Of course, going global greats the need for B2B translation.

If you plan to branch out into countries where a language other than English is spoken, said marketing campaign will have to be translated by a professional translator, along with a myriad of documents and correspondence. In this guide, we will share the most important factors to be considered when hiring a realiable translation service for your B2B translation needs.

1. Define your target market

Having a clear target customer, whether they are an individual or another business, is crucial to producing a successful marketing campaign. Be clear on who you are communicating with and what tone you wish to portray. If your translator knows these details they will be able to produce translations that are perfectly tailored to the reader, giving your product or service the best chance at resonating with the potential client.

2. Establish language combinations for your B2B translation

Once you have established your target market and identified which language or languages your content will need to be translated into, you can begin to work with a translation service that specialises in those languages. Although some languages are spoken in many countries around the world, the dialects vary greatly from country to country.

Let’s take French as an example; there are great differences between the French spoken in France, Canada, Belgium, and Haiti, to name just a few French-speaking nations. If you are expanding into more than one country or region that speaks the same language, the translation agency can give you advice on whether a different B2B translation for each country is needed, or whether their dialects are similar enough for that to be unnecessary.

3. Find a translator who understands your niche market

The best translation service for you will not only specialise in the right language combinations, but they will also have native translators who are experts in your specific sector. If your company produces medical equipment, working with a translator specialised in the medical field to translate your instruction manuals, for example, with guarantee clear and accurate translations.

4. Don’t underestimate the importance of localisation

If you haven’t worked with a translator before, you may see the process of translation as simply replacing words in one language with words in another. Of course, it’s much more complex than that, and one of the major considerations for the translator is making sure that the target text will be understood in the context of the target culture.

This process of tweaking the text to suit the new audience is called localisation and takes into account issues such as humour, pop culture, religion, and superstition. Working with a translator who can provide localisation services will ensure clear communication with your clients, free from damaging or costly misunderstandings.

5. You won’t regret having your website translated

To strengthen your presence in your targeted market it is essential to have your website and other online content translated into the relevant languages. Hiring an experienced, native website translator will help you to build a relationship with your new clients, which will directly benefit your sales.

A professionally translated website will give a good impression to those local businesses you are interested in working with on a B2B basis. If your website is not available in their language it not only sends the message that your company is not invested in their market, it also forces them to use automated translation which can lead to serious misunderstandings.

6. Always follow local regulations

Remember that different countries and regions may have different laws and requirements when it comes to information such as ingredients lists, disclaimers, and instructions, and getting these wrong could lead to serious ramifications. Do your own research, but also discuss these issues with your translation service so that you are all on the same page.

You’ve worked hard to establish your company in the UK, building a strong relationship with your clients through communication that suits your business, don’t let this standard drop as you take your business global. Translation agencies like BeTranslated, with our skilled, native translators are here to help. Get in touch today for more information or a free, no-obligation quote.

How do I find the right translation service for my needs?

high quality translation

For many companies or individuals that find themselves in need of a professional translation service, the prospect of choosing the right high-quality translation provider can be rather daunting. If your content is being translated into a language you yourself don’t understand, there is an element of trust as you aren’t able to verify the quality of the work yourself.

The abundance of information online can be overwhelming for those working with translators for the first time. Perhaps you’ve come across terms like CAT tools and localisation while browsing through translation agency websites and been left feeling confused, but all is not lost! Our simple guide to what to look for when hiring a translation service will help you find the right translator for you.

Be specific about your language requirements

Let’s start with language combinations. Many translation agencies specialise in specific languages, such as European languages like French and Italian or Asian languages like Korean and Japanese, whilst others that have a larger pool of translators offer a seemingly endless list of language combinations.

It is crucial that your translator is specialised in the right regional dialect for your needs. For example, if your company is branching out into the Latin American market, working with European Spanish translators is not going to be appropriate. Be specific with your translation agency about the regional details of your target audience and make sure that they have linguists who are experienced with the dialects your project requires.

Look for translators specialised in the appropriate subject matter

Linguistic knowledge is just one piece of the translation puzzle; your translator should also be knowledgable about the subject matter of the text to be translated. If you need a contract translated, you should work with a legal translator experienced in contracts whereas a marketing translator would be a more suitable choice for your publicity content. Working with a specialised translator will ensure translations of a higher quality.

When researching translation service providers focus on those that specialise in the type of translation you need, and feel free to ask them about their previous clients, which will give you a better idea about the kinds of translation they have experience doing, and the profiles of their translators.

Read reviews with a critical eye

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to translation agencies that are experts in your subject area and language combinations, it’s time to focus on their reputations. Take a good look at their website and social media pages, particularly focussing on customer reviews and feedback. Read the reviews thoughtfully, with a clear idea of the kind of company you’re looking for.

Do you need an agency that can turn around translations very quickly? Or would an agency with a reputation for strong communication with the clients suit you better? Also, pay attention to the types of clients they have worked with; are they similar to your company? Approaching this information with a clear idea of your own needs with make it much easier to process what is relevant to you and your needs.

Consider requesting a sample translation

Providing a translation agency with a short sample text (around 300 words is standard) for them to translate, which you may or may not be asked to pay for, is a great way of checking the quality of the work and confirming if they are the right fit for your translation needs. Be realistic with what to expect from a free test translation; don’t expect a translator to translate pages and pages of text for free, especially if the job on offer is a small project. That being said, many translators are happy to provide short samples and it’s a useful step in finding the right high-quality translation service.

Be clear on the service that you expect

Ask for details on what the translation company offers, and be clear about what you need. Will you require extra services such as proofreading or localisation? Don’t be afraid to ask the agency for details of their service, for example, is proofreading performed by a second qualified translator? This is recommended as human error is natural and the more eyes on a text the better. The bottom line is that clear communication will lead to a better working relationship and, ultimately, a better final product.

As an experienced translation agency with highly-qualified translators located around the globe, BeTranslated could be the right translation service provider for you. Check out our past clients and some of our translator bios to get a clearer picture of the work we do. If you still have questions or are interested in a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch! We look forward to working with you.