Consistent Writing Style

A few weeks ago, a photographer whose book I translated over a year ago via a publisher contacted me about a “twin book”. As he introduced himself, he said “You translated the texts for my book and I really did like your work”. Such feedback shows that the person appreciates that translation is not just about accuracy and fundamental good writing skills (these should be a given); indeed, it is also about the style and rendering of ideas. This is especially true with art texts.

Continue reading “Consistent Writing Style”

All Work and Play

This year, as the world was suddenly put on hold, the great majority of us have had to find ways of making use of our time, if only to try and stay sane. In my case, I spent more time on my photography.

Somewhat compensating for the frustration of not being able to go out with my camera, I entered a few competitions, some of which successfully, with several photos being selected for group exhibitions in Athens in October and in Rome in Continue reading “All Work and Play”

Of Bluebells and Translators

Every spring, my local group of translators (the ITI WRG) organises a bluebell walk in the Forest of Dean. By association, whenever I look at the bluebells that have found their way into my garden at the foot of the rowan tree, I always think of my wonderful colleagues.

Of course, this year, with the pandemic, the walk and our other social and professional activities have had to be cancelled. Translators are used to Continue reading “Of Bluebells and Translators”

An Eclectic Translators’ Community

Spending time with fellow translators never feels like work. And Saturday was one of those quality-time events with my wonderful colleagues from the Bristol-Bath area.

The ITI WRG’s (a regional group of professional translators) Members’ Day was a half day of networking and knowledge-sharing, included several 5-minute presentations by some of our members on a variety of topics that may Continue reading “An Eclectic Translators’ Community”

Acknowledge Your Translator

While translators are used to working anonymously in most cases, they are always grateful when their name is mentioned. It’s a rare bonus for professionals whose work is typically invisible. Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their contribution – even if it’s only in the small prints that hardly a soul will bother to read.

So when I noticed that my name was missing from a book that I had recently translated, Continue reading “Acknowledge Your Translator”

The Added Value of a Specialist

Although checking the facts in your text is beyond the translator’s remit, hiring a linguist who has a certain level of expertise in your particular field could save you from the embarrassment of oversights.

Of course, a translator will focus on the language first; the content is down to you and, if there are mistakes in the source document, the translator cannot be expected to spot them all, if any. It is your responsibility to ensure that the text is accurate and ready for publication. But we’re all human and, despite your diligence, translators Continue reading “The Added Value of a Specialist”

The Irony of ISO Certifications

ISO certifications have become a trend amongst translation agencies. Such a certification undoubtedly sounds like a mark of professionalism and commitment to certain standards, and of course it is reassuring to potential clients. Sadly, it is one of those things that “look great on paper but”: the new demands this creates can prove detrimental to the agency-translator relationship.

In the UK, a professional translator is usually at least an Associate, if not a full Member, of either the CIOL and/or the ITI. This means that our qualifications and references have been checked, that we Continue reading “The Irony of ISO Certifications”

Don’t be a Shark

On a translators’ forum, a colleague recently expressed some doubt about his own rates and the respect we as translators get from clients, after an agency told him that his rates were too high. The response from the group was unanimous: stick to your guns. His rates were fine, if a little low in fact.

In translation as in life, there are bullies and pushovers, and then there are those who Continue reading “Don’t be a Shark”

Forget Magic and Telepathy

Some translators are not so keen on working with direct clients (as opposed to agencies) partly because clients are not always familiar with the translation process. For me, working with direct clients is far more rewarding, and it is an opportunity to help people better understand, and therefore appreciate, what we do rather than see translation as a mere commodity (a view largely reinforced by most agencies).

Discussing the project is crucial for both parties, or Continue reading “Forget Magic and Telepathy”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑