Translation is the discipline of rendering the written word from one language into another language. Languages differ from one another in terms of vocabulary, syntax and style and a good translation needs to take all of these components into account for it to read as if it had never been translated.
The quality of a translation benefits from experience in the relevant subject area. Both specialist vocabulary and an understanding of the context are important prerequisites to achieving an accurate translation.
Every client and every organisation is different. So it’s no surprise that an understanding about the client and their background contributes to the quality of a translation and minimises the risk of misunderstandings. The quality of the relationship between you and your translator is a factor which should not be underestimated.
Marketing & PR – Financial Services – Law
The main focus of my work as a translator is in marketing, financial services and legal translations. Over and above my degree as a translator (BA (Hons) Languages, Interpreting and Translating), I also have a degree in Marketing (Master of Science) and worked for many years in financial services marketing.
Marketing & PR
Translations in Marketing & PR require particular strengths in expression and style. Here, too, to a large extent the message is communicated ‘between the lines’. It’s the skill of rendering expression and style in a new linguistic and cultural context which is key here.
Meticulous attention to detail is just as important as a comprehensive understanding of the specialist vocabulary in the source and targets texts. The understanding of subject matter and context is crucial to achieving precise and high-quality translations.
Legal expression not only requires faithfulness and precision, it also has a style quite its own in each language. Legal translations not only need to take specific definitions of specific concepts in the legal text into account, they also have to render them in correct ‘legalese’.
A translation benefits from a sound collaboration between the client and the freelance translator in the same way as any other highly skilled service offering. Communicating well with each other helps to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings and a familiarity with the client and their organisation makes for more relevant and more effective translations.
In order to make this possible, I always make myself available to my clients and also welcome having a direct contact in the client’s organisation. Having the possibility of being able to ask specific questions about the background and details is important particularly at the start of a collaboration and it enhances my own job satisfaction.
You should never be able to discern from a good translation that it is a translation. A good translation should read as though the text had been written in the target language at the start.
Languages vary not only in vocabulary but also in syntax and style. For instance, the German language frequently uses complex sentence constructions with convoluted main and relative clauses with nominalisations while the English language strings together short and compact sentences using lots of verbalisations. A good translation takes account of these varied styles of putting forward an argument without compromising the argument and statement of the text itself.
Words also often do not have a precise match in another language. Depending on the context, the translator needs to choose different words in the target text and in specialist texts, the use of specialist technical terms can be necessary. The experience the translator has of the relevant specialist areas is crucial in order to avoid a poor translation.
A source-language text will convey a specific impression, such as, for instance, being rationally objective or young and fresh. This impression should be precisely reflected in the translation and it should not only render the content but also reflect the tone and character of your text in the target language. I specialise in German to English translations as only a native speaker can achieve this target.
Prices and Terms & Conditions
The level of difficulty of a text determines precisely how long the translation will take. A general press release requires less time for translation than a complex fiscal analysis, for example.
Calculating the translation fee is based on the word count of the target language, the fee per word unit depends on the severity of the text and therefore takes account of the differences in the amount of time required. This gives a fair price for texts which are less challenging and ensures that challenging texts are dealt with with the required diligence.
I would be happy to give you a quote with prices and timescale on request. I can often take on urgent translations at short notice and, depending on the circumstances, I might charge an express rate for this.
All texts, documents and background information supplied are treated confidentially and not made available to third parties without your consent. I use the Institute of Translation and Interpreting’s terms and conditions for freelance translators which I can send on request.