A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO TRANSLATION
Translation is a career path a lot of people are taking seriously. As a beginner, getting started can often be confusing on what or what not to do. The most common question newbies ask is how to format the transcripts and the rules to follow. Others have a hard time using colloquial expressions.
For those looking to work for a transcription company, they should understand that each company may have additional guidelines and rules. As such, you should get to understand and conform to their ways. Other than that, below are the basic guidelines in translation.
- Be accurate
Accuracy is everything in translation. Whether you are doing audio or video translation, type the words exactly as you hear them. If you do not understand a certain word, note it down or tag them as instructed by your client.
- Be time conscious
Translating jobs are paid by the hour or per words typed. Other clients will require their work done in a short duration. In both, time is of the essence.
Delivering projects on time will not only make you a reliable translator but also give you enough time to do other related projects that will bring in money.
- Do not use word-for-word translation
This is especially crucial for native language translators. It is imperative to understand that all languages are unique in terms of grammar and style of writing. For example, in Japanese transcription, the sentences do not follow the subject-verb-object order. So, if you are translating a video from English to Japanese, using the same grammatical structure would be disastrous.
The same applies when using idioms; an idiom from one language could rarely be translated word-for-word into another language. A good translator would use another idiom that has a similar meaning to the one given.
- Do not ignore the tone
During translation, the tone of voice should be kept consistent across all languages. This is critical especially for projects that are meant for marketing purposes.
If the tone is fun and quirky, then it is your job as a translator to deliver a project with the exact tone. This is a form of mastery that beginners may have a problem with. However, as you garner more experience, in time, you will be able to do this without much hassle.
- Don’t assume because you speak a native language, you can translate it
Translating is more than knowing how to speak a certain language. Translating requires skill and years of understanding the intricacies of the language.
Additionally, if you are a good native translator, do not attempt translating out of your native language. Such translations should only be carried out by professional and native linguists. This is the only way to ensure accuracy and your message is conveyed appropriately.
- Avoid using machine translations
Take a minute to browse the Internet and you will come across several automatic translation applications. Not to say that they are not legit. They are. The problem is that they offer basic and literal translations. This then becomes a problem when you need a translation for formal matters.
Follow the above tips and you are on your way to becoming a pro-translator. Good luck!