Many clients do not understand the key considerations of the translation process and the importance of choosing the right professional translator for their specific project.
Here is a brief overview, as seen by a professional French translator.
What are the basics of translation?
Translation is the process of transferring written text from one language into another. Anything that is written can be translated: advertisements, books, games software, legal documents, websites, film subtitles etc. Translators work either in-house (as employee of an organisation) or freelance. Usually, translators work from one or more languages into their mother tongue. This is just the basics.
What is professional translation?
If your translation is for your business or has any other form of financial or personal value, then it’s always best to entrust your project to a professional. This means using a person with experience and/or accreditation. It does not involve using Google Translate, which provides a rough idea for fun or non-professional use. By using an accredited translator, you can expect to receive translated text that is accurate, stylish, appropriate for its purpose and well formatted.
What are the potential areas of focus for your text?
- specialisation – by their very nature, most businesses specialise in a particular market. It is key to find a translator who specialise in your field. Skilled technical workers have defined roles: plumber, electrician, painter etc. It is the same for translators! Choose wisely. Translators need to understand the subject and use the appropriate terminology.
- highly-specialised – some domains are highly specialised and require translators with enhanced experience in this area. This may be business, law, banking, life sciences etc.
- the target audience and cultural relevance – i.e. UK or US market, older or younger age group.
- the tone – casual or formal, who is your target audience?
- Style – any translation should be readable but this can be taken further. It is particularly important for the text to be stylish if it is for marketing and will be printed. This is the difference between an ill-fitted suit and a bespoke, tailor-made outfit that will attract compliments.
- Accuracy – a good quality translation should accurately convey the meaning of the original. This is essential in, for example, the fields of law.
- Consistency – do you have a house style? A good translator can compile a glossary of your preferred terms and ensure that they are applied to future projects. This can be done manually or using terminology software.
- Quality control – this is an essential step towards producing a good quality end product. Ask your potential translator about their processes. I always proofread and spell check work, and review it to make enhancements. I recommend using a second translator to review the work. This often incurs an additional fee but is indispensable for documents intended for publication.
- The size of your project – freelancers can provide BY FAR the best value for money on smaller to medium-sized projects. Other times, it might be appropriate to allocate a very large project to an agency that has a broader network of linguists.
- Ask the translator to demonstrate their credentials and check their reviews
An experienced translator can help you to understand your requirements which, as discussed above, often go beyond transferring your text from one language to the next.
Please call today if you would like to discuss your potential project and how I can help to identify your areas of focus: +44 (0)7954 693 561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to speak French or English, just pick up the phone and say Bonjour or Hello!
I am a professional French translator and I provide general, specialised and highly-specialised translation services. This includes: certificates, marketing, business, legal, company law, company secretarial (often considered “finance” in France), articles of association, incorporation documents, minutes of meetings, governance, strategy, financial services, finance, private equity, corporate presentations and policies, social sciences, NGO and aid-agency projects. I work from French to English and use the services of other professional translators to provide English to French services.
Find out more here: https://ts-services.co.uk/certified-french-translation-services/
Official translations, certification and notarisation.
Bilingual secretarial tasks and making calls for clients.
Other language combinations are available upon request.