I have often written about the importance of working with a translator who specialises in your field for better results. Working with someone you can trust also means less stress for you. Over the years, my clients have grown not only to trust me, but to depend on me precisely because of my expertise in art. Here is a recent example.
A PR agency for art clients, for whom I regular translate press releases, recently contacted me with a short essay for an exhibition catalogue for a new and prestigious end client. “I need a sharp translation for this one”, she wrote in her email. Later on the phone, I could tell she was both excited and a little nervous. As she explained that the text was more literary and sophisticated than what she’d typically send my way, I reassured her that, as an art specialist, I am just as familiar and comfortable with essays as I am with press releases. In fact, I translate more art books than press releases.
I know she has a list of other translators, some with cheaper rates, but I also know that she has had some disappointments in the past – including with someone who had been recommended, following which she had come back to me for the rest of the project. As this new client was important to her, I understood her assigning this essay to me was no accident: she needed someone she could depend on.
I can normally translate her documents pretty quickly as they are short and easy to fit in. But this time, I had an urgent deadline looming and other jobs in the queue. Yes, she would have liked to receive the translation earlier if possible, but fine, it would have to wait until I could deliver – one day after her next meeting with the client. Quality took precedent; finding someone else was not an option.
The essay was indeed quite a run-of-the-mill text for me, and after reshuffling my schedule a little, I was able to send the translation a day early, just in time for her meeting with the client. A few days later, she sent me the press release for translation and informed me that all had gone smoothly with the essay.
No stress, no sweat. It was all in the right hands.