Today I want to talk about how as translators we can actually do a lot more than just translate.
Let’s talk about different language-related areas for translators.
Transcription varies from translation in that it involves audio or video as the source instead of a document. You have to listen to the audio and transcribe it in a document along with the corresponding time codes.
Most of the times, the audio will be in your native language, but it can also be in your second one. And you might be asked to transcribe and translate an audio, which means that you have to transcribe the audio and then translate it. I work with English and Spanish (Spanish being my native language), so I could get an audio in Spanish to transcribe it, and then translate it into English. It could also be the other way around.
Copywriting is the process of writing persuasive marketing and promotional materials that motivate people to take some form of action, such as make a purchase, click on a link, donate to a cause, or schedule a consultation.
These materials can include written promotions that are published in print or online. They can also include materials that are spoken, such as scripts used for videos or commercials.
The text in these materials is known as “copy,” hence the name “copywriting.”
This is a sort of project that you will most likely work on in your native language.
Language localization is the process of adapting a product’s translation to a specific country or region. It is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation to account for differences in distinct markets, a process known as internationalization and localization.
It doesn’t always have to be a product or a marketing campaign. You can also localize video games and language-learning websites like I do with FluentU. I localize their English videos into Spanish for Latin American learners of English.
Subtitling is the process of adding text to any audio-visual media to express the message that is being spoken. Essentially, subtitles are a written abridgment of the spoken audio. They allow people to read and understand what is being said, even if they don’t understand the language of the speakers. And without subtitles, it would not be possible to grasp the subtleties contained in verbal communications.
Subtitles can basically be added to anything that includes moving pictures, but are most commonly used on film and television, promotional and corporate videos, and increasingly becoming more popular on YouTube and internet videos.
Language consultancy consists of the analysis of a client’s language needs in order to develop solutions that optimize the translation process. This may include support in the drafting of documents or the analysis of document workflows or special projects. The workload for this type of service depends greatly on the complexity of each individual case.
Cultural consultancy is similar to language consultancy, but in this case, it is more about providing feedback about cultural aspects than language aspects. For instance, I did a cultural consultancy for a video game that took place in the former Maya and Inca empires, so they wanted someone from either culture to help them reassure that the cultural aspects presented in the video game were as close as possible to the original ones, to make it as credible as possible for the users.
Transcreation is the merger of two words: translation and creation. It’s an intricate form of translating that preserves the original intent, context, emotion, and tone. Originally conceived by marketing and advertising professionals, the goal of transcreation is to duplicate the message thoughtfully and seamlessly, without audiences realizing a translation ever occurred. The finished product should give the audience an identical emotional experience as the source message.
Have you worked in any of these areas before? If not, which ones interest you the most? I would love to read you in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!
Until the next time, take and stay safe!