For some reason, many people are sure that it is very easy to translate, it seems to them that the translator only replaces the words of one language (original) with their equivalents in another language (target). And if so, then in their opinion, if there is a good dictionary, then you can do without a translator. But if you have already tried to translate articles using Google Translate or any other machine translation software, you know for sure that this is far from the case. For many years translators and linguists have been arguing about what makes a good translation good or a bad one bad, but I personally believe that the best translation is the one that doesn’t look like a legal translations Manchester at all.
For those who doubt their abilities, I have compiled a list of 10 aspects that a translator should remember when taking on another translation:
1. BEFORE ACCEPTING A JOB, REVIEW THE TEXT
This is the only way to make sure that you can complete the translation and that the time frame offered by the customer is reasonable. Here you can also make sure that there are no missing pages or illegible sentences in the source material, and that you are familiar with the subject.
2. FOR WHOM (WHAT) IS THE TRANSLATION INTENDED
Be sure to discuss with the client the type of translation that he expects at the exit. What message should it convey, who is its target audience, where will it be published, etc. Any information that will allow you to determine the required style of translation will do.
3. Good translation takes time
Don’t start translating right off the bat. First, carefully read the source text, pay attention, or even write down all sorts of details that will attract your attention, slang expressions, language nuances, Newspeak words, if errors or ambiguities come across, inform the customer about this. The text may contain unfamiliar or even completely new technical terms, the translation of which you will need to find or offer yourself, agreeing on their meaning with the client. After reading, it is very important to take some rest. Take a break from your computer screen, take a break from work, and do something else. After half an hour or an hour, you will return to the translation in a more relaxed state and with a “fresh look”.
4. WRITE ACCURATELY AND CONCISELY
“A good writer is one who uses language effectively. That is, his language is as precise and transparent as possible,” wrote the American poet and translator Ezra Pound.
If the text you are about to translate contains idiomatic expressions, puns, and slang, feel free to add comments or footnotes to help the reader understand them. A good knowledge of both the source language and the target language is crucial for such work.
5. REMEMBER WHO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS
Only by considering the capabilities of your future readers, you will be able to convey the meaning of the original message as accurately as possible. It will also force you to remember to use a particular spelling or vocabulary. This is important if you are translating for children, for example, or translating into French for Canadians, or Portuguese for Brazilian audiences.
6. MEANING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WORDS
If you try to translate verbatim, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises. While you should retain the author’s original style (tone, case, etc.), don’t try to completely duplicate the syntax or grammatical structures of the source language, as long as they remain correct in the target language as well. Do not try to translate every word of the source text, otherwise your translation may be redundant. If you feel that by adding a few extra words you will make the meaning of what was said clearer, feel free to do so.
7. STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW
Rely on your skills, knowledge, and experience. When translating difficult texts, you may no longer have anyone to rely on. And only your competencies will help you make the right translation decisions. Of course, you will need some time to hone your skills, but remember that the craft of the master is afraid.
8. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK
It is normal that doubts or difficulties may arise during the translation process because translation, as, in fact, any translation is not an exact science, and even venerable scientists are no stranger to doubt. If work has stalled, don’t be afraid to consult colleagues or other linguists. It’s very helpful to talk to a client or source coder about this if you can get in touch with them.
9. FINAL TOUCH (PROOFREADING AND PROOFREADING)
Sometimes we are so absorbed in our work that we are not able to look at it from the side, here a second pair of eyes can play an invaluable role. When you’ve finished translating, ask another linguist, friend, or relative to proofread it. It can detect errors that you may not have noticed. It will also help you make sure that your translated text in the target language sounds natural.
Now your translation is ready, and it can be sent to the client. But the work is not finished. After all, the main commandment of a good translator is
10. LEARN MORE
As experienced translator Lanna Castellano said, “Our profession is based on knowledge and experience. You learn the art of translation much longer than any other profession.” Continuous learning is the key to improving your skills and gaining experience. All languages are constantly evolving and expanding, so you should be aware of these changes.