How is the text being translated?
Translating a text seems like a simple task. The availability of online translators like Google supports this illusion. But in reality, such translators help to capture the essence of the original at best. They are not suitable for making a complete translation of a text. Only a professional approach can convey the style of the original, its essence, its structure, and, in the case of advertising or fiction, its emotional colouring.
FEATURES OF PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION
A professional translator knows how to work with texts of all kinds. For this reason, he or she makes a preliminary plan:
- The initial stage is familiarisation with the original and comprehension of the text. This includes first and second reading. First, the translator determines the topic and style of the document, and defines his or her task. After the second reading, a glossary (vocabulary) is compiled and an image of the text is formed.
- Reproduction, i.e. directly translating the text.
- A third reading, when the translator corrects the stylistics or individual words once again.
The translation company gives the prepared text to the editor so that he or she can check it once again for consistency with the original and remove mistakes.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING SENSE OF THE TEXT
This step tries to abstract away from the language in which the document is written and identify its main characteristics:
- type (scholarly article, advertising brochure, instruction, work of fiction, etc.)
- style (business, scientific, journalistic);
- literary techniques used by the author.
- The translator is obliged to specify what results the client is expecting – whether it will be a full draft or an abstract, and what form it should be in.
A second reading will help create an image of the text, i.e. how everything said in the original can be translated into another language. Creating a glossary helps to shape the image. Sometimes it takes more time to get to grips with the subject, to refresh your knowledge, to read current literature. Even if the translator has been working with medical specialities for many years, he or she cannot be equally well-versed in all branches of science. This also applies to other specialist texts.
PECULIARITIES OF REPRODUCTION
Even an experienced translator may not be familiar with certain terms. This is especially true for legal, medical and technical texts. If this is the case, you will have to call in a consultant for help. Sometimes there are no equivalents for a foreign word and in this case the translator needs to decide how best to proceed. For example, it is possible to use the method of calibration or transliteration.
A lot of difficulties arise when translating metaphors and polysemous words. The translator evaluates the context, selects equivalents, analyses the word order and the restrictions imposed by the subject. Only then can the right choice be made.
WHY A THIRD READING IS NEEDED
Once the document is ready, the translator reads it again. This is to correct spelling and punctuation errors, inaccuracies and misprints. It is advisable to take a break and distract yourself before reading the final version. This way you can see the material with fresh eyes.
There is also a fourth reading, when the document is checked by an editor. If it is a large volume of material, the editor also makes sure that the text is consistent and has a homogeneous style. This ensures a high quality of translation.