We incorporate checking at every stage of the translation process: before we start translating by determining the correct terminology; during the translation process, by constantly revising the text to ensure consistency; and at the end of the process, by reading through in the native format to ensure readability and to check for sense. And because Dutchlink is a partnership, Marion and Elizabeth are in constant contact with each other to discuss translation issues.
Our acid test when polishing a translation is to ask: how do we say that in English?
It's all very well finding translations in a dictionary - online or paper - but sometimes, dictionaries give 'legacy' translations - translations that have been used blindly, handed down from one translator to the next, without anyone really thinking about the message conveyed by these translations to an English-speaking audience. This is where we go beyond the dictionary and sharpen our subject-knowledge skills in our specialist subjects.
In this way, we aim to avoid 'translationese' - where the translation is accurate, but meaningless to the target audience.
We are constantly striving to improve our knowledge in the area of the translation process itself and our areas of specialisation. We attend many of the events organised by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting that provide insight into how to further professionalise our approach, as well as attending seminars in our chosen areas of specialisation.
The backbone of a translator's work revolves around research. Nowadays, the majority of research is carried out online; Marion and Elizabeth have honed their research skills over the years, being able to sort out the chaff from the wheat.
Research, however, isn't only confined to Google searches. We foster our network with other translators so that we can share ideas and tips with one another, either on forums for translators, direct contact or meeting up at specially organised events.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts at research, we come across a tricky translation problem that we think the client will know the answer to. After all, the client is the specialist. In those cases, we formulate our questions in the most constructive way possible, presenting possible solutions and outlining the reasoning behind them.
We are great believers in Plain English - especially with translations. There's no point in delivering a translation that is 100% accurate, but completely unreadable. We aim to actually understand what we are translating and transform it into comprehensible English. We can't always guarantee this - especially with highly complex subject-matter, but this is our aim.