The Boomerang Effect

Multiple problems with an exhibition catalogue I translated earlier this year led to major delays, and the scheduled 6 weeks turned to 6 months. When the publisher emailed the team about the issues this was causing, the leading author of the project sent a dismissive reply, which only highlighted his lack of awareness, preparation and commitment, not to mention his denial of accountability. Such an attitude is not without repercussions.

Continue reading “The Boomerang Effect”

10 Years On…

Although I set up my business in 2008, I have only enjoyed freelancing full time since 1 June 2012 – 10 years ago. For me, becoming an established translator was a long and tough journey due to the fact that I have always focused on direct clients (as opposed to translation agencies like most translators). However, I have now reached a stage where my clients often recommend me to their contacts.

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Text Varnishing

A while ago, on receiving a copy of an exhibition catalogue for which I had translated several essays, I noticed that the title of one of those essays, which was also the name of the exhibition, had been changed to a translation that I did not quite agree with. But surprisingly, in the body of the essay, it remained untouched. Flicking through the rest of the book, I saw that three different English translations of that title were in fact used erratically.

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Stress-Free Translation: Leave it with a Specialist

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 Continue reading “Stress-Free Translation: Leave it with a Specialist”

Clear Thinking for Clear Writing

After working on several texts of varying quality for an exhibition catalogue recently, I was not surprised that one of them came back with revisions for translation updates. The text read as if the art critic was trying to express concepts that he had not fully thought over, and was fumbling for words, resulting in strange choices of words, unnecessarily long sentences, syntax going off the rails, to say nothing of stray words and typos.

Such documents Continue reading “Clear Thinking for Clear Writing”

Is This English?

English is often assumed to be an “international language” (whether there is such a thing is a topic for another day). As a result, some English words have become everyday terms in some non-English-speaking countries, not least in the business environment, with many users having no real knowledge of what the words actually mean and dangerously assuming that this is how English speakers talk.

Recently, a French client asked me to Continue reading “Is This English?”

Updating Your Website? Do Your Prep!

There are no shortcuts in translation: changing a few words here and there in your original text does not mean that the translator will only have a few words to change – far from it! The whole sentence or even paragraph will have to be reviewed. However, there are ways you can help to make the process easier, faster and cheaper.

After the content of your website is initially translated, it’s a good idea to Continue reading “Updating Your Website? Do Your Prep!”

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