Because we work together in partnership, we aim for one of us to translate and the other to check. When we work in this way, it is easier for the second person to pick up on small errors, such as typos. With a fresh pair of eyes, it is easier to improve style as well. Please note we can't offer this service for highly legal court documents or if there is a tight deadline.
However, even if we can't offer the full checking service, Marion and Elizabeth are always in constant contact with each other to discuss translation issues.
Our acid test when polishing a translation is: 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 - the 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 carry out our research to find the answer to the following: How do we actually say that in English? By answering this question, we can avoid 'translationese' - where the translation is accurate, i.e. literal, 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.
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 understandable English. We can't always guarantee this - especially with highly complex subject-matter, but this is our aim.