How Translators Translate

Last Updated On: October 18, 2018

inGeneral, Translation Tips

Professional Translator

The actual job of translating in 2017 is probably a bit of a mystery to many people who need a translation done for them. They probably think that the translator sits in front of his or her computer with a text extract mentally engaged in switching from one language to another.
To some extent, that is still true. It depends partly on exactly what the translator is doing. There may still be tasks that are so simple, routine or short in length that the average translator can handle them without resorting to using any additional tools. Even then, if the translator is a skilled professional, the very least that will be done will be to thoroughly proofread anything that has been translated, however simple and short it is. There are documents that may be routine, but are still very important to the person who wants them translated. Personal documents for visas and other immigration or employment purposes would be an example. It is vital that these are translated accurately, so proofreading is an absolute must.
Most professional translation services these days use a number of tools to help them translate faster and more accurately. They may use computer software to store glossaries and style guides. Glossaries are compilations of commonly used words and phrases that a translator might use to ensure that translations are consistent.
Glossaries are commonly used when a large business has a lot of translation needed e.g. marketing translation, and some of this will involve repetitious material. The glossary stores the best translation off a particular word or phrase that might have several different alternatives, so that however many times it is translated, the same one is used for the same context. The style guide ensures that the particular style preferred by the translator’s client is retained. This includes things like preferred units, currency units and other things that might change whenever used in a different country.
Glossaries and style guides also help when different people are involved in the translation process, whether they are personnel in the business that is requesting translations or a number of translators working for the same professional translation services.

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