Today I want to talk about what makes a good translation. Each translator has his or her own style, so you’ll never find two matching translations.
But are there any secrets to a good translation? Maybe not secrets but key elements that can help us make sure that we are creating a quality translation.
A huge part of making a good translation depends on the skills and the experience of the translator. So, what makes a good translator? The required skills can fall into two categories: translation and writing. A translator does more than just translate, they convey the source material in an understandable way into the target language.
Understanding the Audience
The translator needs to understand the audience and their needs. Translating a novel differs from translating a medical survey. The translator’s approach will be different for each case.
The Translation Must be As Good As the Source Document
A good translation reads as though it was originally written for the target audience. The fact that the source document was translated should not be visible.
The Human Touch
While CAT Tools have come a long way, the human touch is still essential when making translations shine. The translation tools can help us to translate faster and accurately, however, they can’t yet compete with the skill and nuance that human translators bring to the table.
Here are some other tips:
- Read the text in its entirety, multiple times if necessary. Make sure you understand what the text conveys, what its core meaning is.
- Do some extra research. This never hurts! On the contrary, it can help you understand the document or the target audience better.
- Asses your first draft: does it stand alone? This is an important step, we have to make sure that the translation is understandable on its own, without the source document.
- Have someone review the finished product. This is a crucial step, someone else can catch mistakes you didn’t. And if you can’t find a colleague to review your document for you, I’d suggest reviewing it at least one day after you finished it, to let your brain rest and review it with fresh eyes.
Can you think of any other tips? Please share them in the comments.
I’d like to thank “Day Translations” for sponsoring this post. You can check out their website here: https://www.daytranslations.com/
Until the next time, take care and stay safe!