Today we will talk about what a high quality translation is and how to do high quality translations.
If fact, many will answer this question “easily” as it is taken for granted. Well, what’ so difficult about quality translations eventually? It takes only good command of English and Russian language… and nothing more! As it turns out, this is not enough. The main thing about our job we should stick to (and this is true for many other professions) is the work approach. It is how the translator perceives his job; it is his attitude towards it. It is the approach that makes it possible for the translator to provide high quality job. Eventually, this is the main factor which plays crucial role in professional success of the translator.
I often see test translations and other tasks done by many translators which are even hard to read. It happens that the person does his job in such a way that makes me think the translation is not intended to be read by anybody. When looking at the quality of such translation we can easily conclude this is a translated text, not an original one. And such quality is easily recognizable. To be honest, this shouldn’t be given to customers, let alone taking money for it.
How can this happen? What is the reason the translator works in an honest manner but has a bad result at the output? My dear friends, it’s all about the attitude and work approach.
When translating, the person who translates (i.e., translator) ALWAYS HAS to put himself in the reader’s place and think as the reader would think. That is the governing translation principle. He should clearly understand:
- what impression will the reader have when reading the translated text?
- will the reader understand the text easily or not?
- will the reader understand the terms used in the text?
- in the special context of the text, what will the style of text be (formal/informal or strictly scientific/legal) to be easily recognizable by the reading person?
If the translator asks those questions himself, he won’t be able to provide translations of poor quality. He will double-check his work, search the Internet for suitable terms, look for other word order in sentences, choose the style of the text and create emotional feeling for the text in order to do an up to par job. And only in this case the quality will certainly be high.
Sad to say, but today too many translators stick to a quick-and-dirty work approach. That is, they translate to only make the job and not put their hearts into their work. They often don’t pay enough attention to the terms, don’t think about the reader and don’t search the Internet for the right options of terms. In this case, the quality corresponds to the poor approach.
So I appeal to my colleagues: dear translators, love what you do, respect yourself and your reputation, do your work in a quality manner. As professionals, we can only grow when we move from one up to par job to another. There are no other ways to perfection.