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An art gallery might seem an unlikely place to find issues of language and translation being addressed. But two of the pieces in the installations currently showing at The Tanks at Tate Modern do exactly that. The Tanks… Read More
We should all make a few resolutions that are not beyond our reach and we know won’t be ignored past January 2nd. Here are a few from a freelance translator’s perspective:
Travelling helps to broaden our knowledge, our minds and our view of the world. By travelling to new and familiar places we can pick up new words, cultural differences and local idiom. By staying in tune with the cultures, popular and social media, current affairs and general goings on in the country(ies) where the languages you work with are used will be a huge boost to staying up to date with language trends and idiosyncrasies. Knowing the word on the street can prevent translators incorrectly translating a term or wasting time researching a word they’ve never seen used in a certain context before.
A tidy inbox = a tidy mind. And throughout 2017 I resolve to stay on top of all my email communications, file correspondence accordingly and delete junk, spam and the hundreds of daily newsletters clogging up my inbox. I will respond promptly to incoming messages, confirming receipt of an enquiry even when I don’t have time to respond in full immediately.
Organisation will be my middle name I will start projects as soon as I receive them and deliver well ahead of schedule. I will endeavour to communicate on project process as often as necessary with my client and will ensure that the final text is delivered in a polished state.
A problem shared is a problem halved! Joining a forum such as proz.com gives me the opportunity to ask questions to likeminded professionals, whether this is regarding a particularly tricky term or sentence in a translation I am working on, standard payment terms and conditions or to ask for feedback about a translation agency. Being part of a community is a way to access many brilliant minds.
Asking my client more questions about the translation project will ensure that I produce the most accurate and effective translation. By knowing the target audience, where the document will be published and the reasons behind the creation of the initial document will result in a translated text that is fit for purpose. Similarly, asking for previously translated materials, translation memories and preferred vocabulary is a way to provide consistent and client appropriate translations.
It’s easy to get waylaid by all of the other seemingly important tasks on a daily basis: checking Facebook, ordering that skirt from eBay, downloading an album on iTunes and so on and so forth. I resolve to switch off all distractions, closer my social media apps and remain focussed on the translation at hand.
What are your resolutions for 2017?
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