In order to ensure that your translation is accurate AND dynamic, the first requirement is for you to work with a native speaker of the target language. Only native speakers have the ability to make the translation natural and convincing. Secondly, fluency and comprehension in the source language is a given, of course. The third thing you need is for the translator and proofreader to be knowledgeable in the subject matter and to have worked with a significant number of texts in that genre. They should also be proactive about researching any fine points or terminology they haven’t encountered previously. The last element (one which not very many people seem to be aware of) is that the translator and proofreader should have superior writing skills in their native language. In the end, translation is both a science and an art. If these principles ring true with you and you are looking for high quality translation, just contact us.
Proofreading and Editing
Proofreading and Editing
No one’s perfect. An extra pair of eyes is essential to catching any errors possibly missed by the translator. The proofreader’s first job is to check that there are no omissions, additions or mistranslations. Secondly, the proofreader should examine the resulting text, looking for spelling mistakes, naturalness, discourse and genre issues as well as the overall flow of the text. Translators frequently feel too tightly bound to the source text and don’t realize that the sentence they just wrote doesn’t sound good. Consequently, it is absolutely essential that the proofreader be a native speaker of the target language in order to avoid grammar mistakes and awkward phrasing. The general principle is that the proofreader/editor should be focusing on real errors and problems with naturalness, not making changes that are merely stylistic or preferential in nature. It is the translator’s job to do the hard work of correctly identifying the correct terminology and choosing the style of translation that suits the receptor audience and the requirements specified by the stakeholder who is paying for the translation.
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A good translation takes a team of experts. Depending on the scope and nature of the subject matter, additional expertise may need to be brought in to analyse aspects of the source and target texts, address issues of culture, conceptual issues in the subject matter, or linguistic factors in both of the languages. Ideally, translation requires experts in both of the languages: a native speaker of the target language is needed to ensure naturalness, but there may be a word, phrase or concept in the source text he or she is not familiar with. This requires thorough knowledge of the source language and perhaps linguistic research or deeper investigation of the subject matter. You can’t translate it if you don’t understand it! Well, you can try, but the resulting text is highly likely to lead to some miscommunication.
Translation requires some degree of negotiation and dialogue between the source and receptor languages and cultures. This is because every language is embedded in a world view of values and employs different grammatical and syntactical methods to produce a series of words that communicates abstract and concrete concepts in a way that would be endorsed by the author of the original text. Communication is a sensitive issue, and much research has been done in the past 20 years to shed light on how human brains process natural language. Each of the stakeholders involved also has (or should have) a voice in the translation. A good translation consultant is able to bring all of these tools and factors to bear on a translation to ensure that a translation is clear, accurate, natural and acceptable.
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