The secrets to translation
Someone (you or your client) has worked hard to create the perfect source text. Naturally you want to make sure that the same quality is accurately conveyed in the translated version too.
After years of translating all kinds of texts on all kinds of subjects, I’ve identified a few key qualities to look for in a good translation/translator. Whether it’s me you’re gonna be working with, or someone else.
We probably all have one or two hilarious examples of the so-called “stonecoal English”. The what now? “Steenkolenengels” or you might very well know it as Dunglish. Many terms, idioms and proverbs do not translate into another language literally.
“Across the pond” might make sense to many English native speakers, but wouldn’t make sense to a Dutch reader if translated literally.
Thus, to create an understandable and nicely flowing target text it is super important to consider cultural factors. This is also the reason I prefer to speak of localization rather than translation. Target texts should be adapted to their target audience.
This should go without saying, but unfortunately doesn’t always.
Scrutinizing a screen with black and white texts is what I do for a living and I love it. I will translate, proofread and edit until there is nothing left to improve.
However, we’re all human and minor mistakes are inevitable. I therefore do not promote my outputs as “mistake-free”, as no one could possibly guarantee. I also recommend to have your text proofread and edited by a second linguist, if you have the time and means for it.
A top-shelf translation needs some top-shelf research.
Lucky for me, your existing materials are only a click away. I’ll start by having a look at your (or your client’s) website, brochures or apps that are already out there, to get a grasp on what you’re looking for. This benefits Terminology Management: we want to keep the language consistent and therefore I’ll use exisiting glossaries/termbases where available. It also helps me to determine the correct tone of voice. Unless, of course, you want to mix things up and change either or both.
I’ll research about the topic if necessary. Although I have experience translating texts from many industries, I don’t know everything. I am eager to keep expanding my knowledge though, and I am an excellent researcher too. I’ll scour my brain, the internet and my translation tools until I find what I’m looking for.
I am also a member of many language professionals communities. That means my colleagues are always there for me to reach out to, in case you’d ever throw something unsolvable at me.
Keep in mind that for some very specific topics (medical, legal, etc.) you might be better off contacting a specialized translator. If that’s the case, I’ll let you know immediately.
My clients are king. You’re the client, so you’re the king. I’ll always adhere to your expectations and/or project parameters to the best of my ability. Please never hesitate to mention anything that’s on your mind. In the end it’s going to be your text, so you need to be perfectly happy with it.
I do value punctuality and honest communication, from both my side and yours. If you feel the same, I’d be more than happy to talk about a future collaboration!
For bigger projects or longer-term clients I do offer discounts on matches and repetitions. Contact me for more information or to request a quote.
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