How does a translator work?To get an idea of what the job encompasses, we should first establish a rough outline of the translation process. Of course, every individual translator is different and has a unique approach and work methodology. There are, however, basic common processes to go through when translating.
The First Draft
The first step to professionally translating a text is to read it through quickly, getting an idea of the length, structure and complexity of the text.
This first read is generally followed by a more thorough analysis, where the translator tries to identify the main issues that could arise during the translation process, such as culturally charged words, sentences of difficult understanding, idioms or jokes that could get lost in translation or very technical concepts that will require an exact equivalent.
What follows is the writing of a first superficial draft, which will need to be re-edited and checked at least two times before it is ready for external revision.
Taking a Break
Many translators choose to put the text aside for a little while between the first and second draft, and to clear their mind, either working on different texts or, if their schedule allows it, taking a real break (engaging in activities that can vary from gardening to tea brewing, picking up the kids from school and dropping them to judo classes). The idea behind taking a break is to allow your head to clear a little, so that when you approach the translation again you will be able to see your work from a different angle.
Once the work is finalised and proofread, it is generally sent for an external revision, completed by another translator.
Somewhere else, in a different house, another linguist is going through a very similar process to the one that has just finished. They are editing, spell checking and readjusting the translated text. When they are done, the text is sent back to the original translator for a final revision, where they decide whether to accept or alter the changes.When all steps and procedures are followed, translation can be a very straightforward job, but there are rare times when even the most well-planned projects can go array. Natural, unpredictable causes like a power cut in the region or extreme weather (or even a national strike in the coffee industry!) can throw a translation off course. The most experienced translators will have seen it all; complex formatting, super specific client requests, difficult source texts and very urgent, tight deadlines – and it’s for this reason that Wolfestone handpicks experienced, native linguists for all of our translation projects. At Wolfestone, we pride ourselves in delivering the best service to our customers while creating a friendly and cared-for environment for our language providers, to make sure that our love of translation keeps spreading further and further. If you're a freelance translator and would like more information on partnering with Wolfestone, click here. Article written by Costanza Rocchi