Many people believe that translating a document is a simple process and all you have to do is to change the words from the source language into the equivalent words of the target language. However, this is not at all true since some phrases, if translated literaly, would make no sense at all. Translation is a very complicated process in which you have to consider many factors – the genre and the style of the original text, the translator’s competence, the timeline allocated to the project and much more. There are a great number of useful translation tips available both online and offline, yet every translator has their own reliable methods and techniques, built on expertise and time. Here, I summarise the most essential translation tips that can be useful for a written translation.
Brief Written Translation Tips
Written translation is completely different from any other type of translation or interpretation. As a rule, there is no need to react instantly – you can take your time, think, choose a better variant, use a dictionary, consult a specialist, etc. Like any other translation it should convey the meaning and the gist of the source language. You also need to be very accurate with the language and take into consideration the stylistic features.
The most important translation tips are as follows:
Translate meaning not words!
Rely on your wits and instinct – it can prove to be helpful when translating a difficult text
Ask a specialist or a native speaker to proofread your translation so that it sounds natural
Never accept a project which you know is not within your abilities
Skills and translation expertise come with time – remember this
Language nuances do matter when making a professional translation
A good translation is worth taking your time for
The way documents are organised in one country may not be understood in another
Emulate the original style of the author, be it formal, informal, humorous, wordy, with colloquial or scientific language, etc.