How Quality Translations Are Done | July 2016 | Translation Journal

July 2016 Issue

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How Quality Translations Are Done

Quality translations are always in demand and in order to reach the highest possible quality, translators study and train for years, mastering their craft. However, even if all translators are individual, the process of translation has a lot of common points, and by knowing them even the most inexperienced translator can learn how to master the art of translating a little bit faster.

Without further ado, let's take a look at an average process the professional translator is going through during the job.

1. Translators familiarize themselves with the material.

Before they go through the process of translating, they have to know what the job is about and what they need to learn in order to do it. Every translation is unique in many ways, and it's important to understand what kind of struggles you might have to face in order to deliver the best possible translation. Also, during that phase, translators take notes to speed up the process and avoid issues.

2. Evaluate the skills necessary for this translation.

Another important part of the translation is actual evaluation of your skills. Can you fully understand the material while reading it? Can you coherently translate the hardest bits in your head? Are you sure you're able to deliver the best quality? If you have any major doubts or issues, it's better to decline the job before you make any mistakes.

3. Do some proper research.

Researching the subject is important, especially if you're dealing with topics you unfamiliar with. For example, you might translate a text about computers, but have no idea about computer science, which might result in problems if text relies on terms and various technical descriptions.

4. Be confident in your skills.

Knowing your limits is important, but so is having confidence in yourself. Sometimes a few bottlenecks might make you feel like this job is a no go for you. Be confident, nothing is impossible to translate, and if you'll give it all you got, you'll be satisfied.

5. Make the first draft.

Instead of jumping into the process right from the start, make a quick draft of the translation so you know what kind of issues you may run into. Once you know what you need, you might want to do additional research or ask a specialist to consult you on the matter. In any case, the final result is all that matters, so take your time to do it properly.

6. Try to make it sound natural.

There's nothing more unsatisfying than putting all your effort into the translation but then realizing that it doesn't exactly click. This issue is present in translations rather regularly, but you need to make sure you're not doing that, otherwise you might only hurt your reputation and credibility as a translator.

7. Keep the flow as smooth as possible.

Another thing is the flow of text. You might've encountered issues when translated poetry doesn't rhyme well or doesn't feel like it has a proper "rhythm". Therefore, you should avoid breaking the flow as much as possible and adapt the text to make it sound just right.

8. Do proper proofreading.

Proofreading is important, especially if you're not considering yourself as an experienced professional yet. Consider sending your translation to a native speaker for proofreading and listen closely to what he or she has to say.

9. Don't stop improving yourself.

There's no such thing as "hard limit" when it comes to translations. There is always room for improvement, and it doesn't matter how you are going to raise the level of your qualification (translating as a freelancer on or even practicing without the ability of having an additional income), because all methods are good then it comes to practice. So don't hesitate to keep practicing, learning and mastering the art of translation.

We hope these tips will help you a lot in the future, and if you're even remotely interested in translations, stay tuned for more useful information!

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