What is a translator and what is a translation?

In today’s article we will give you more details about what a translation is and the logical flow of the translation process. The term translation refers to both the translator’s activity, the translation process and the end result of this activity: the translated text.

How exactly does the translation process work?

The translator receives a document in a source language (the language from which the translation is to be made) and has to translate it into a target language (the language into which the translation is to be made). The translator then analyses the text to determine whether there are any elements of ambiguity, researches the source text from a terminological point of view and produces a first version of the translation. An important aspect to keep in mind is that the process is called “a translation” when it takes place from the translator’s mother tongue into a foreign language. When the process is carried out from the foreign language into the mother tongue it is called “back-translation” (reverse translation). The translation process is followed by the proofreading activity carried out by the translator, and it can stop here. However, what many people do not know is that the translation process involves several additional steps, which are often overlooked, that ensure an even higher level of quality, accuracy and adaptation to the local environment (localisation or adaptation). Those steps, that are much-needed, and yet often left aside for duration or financial reasons, are: linguistic revision by a translator other than the one who did the translation, expert revision, approval and drafting of the final version and proofreading of the final translation.

The translation process is not easy enough to be done on the spot. Translators are linguistic specialists who do research and carry out an adaptation to the specific domain of the source text as well as to the characteristics of the language into which the translation is being rendered. To make things clearer, here is an example. In Romanian we use commas to separate decimals (e.g. 2,5 lei). When this unit is translated into English we use the full stop to separate the decimals (lei 2.5). Did you notice that we also moved the name of the currency in front of the amount? Well this is another element of localisation (adaptation to the specific country). Don’t worry! As we get to know each other better you will have more information about the translation domain, and this puzzle will turn into a beautiful tableau.

The translation activity itself is a collaborative process between the translator who translates, the reviser who does the linguistic and specialised proofreading and the beneficiary. If one of them refuses to be involved in the process, there is less chance for the document to reach its full potential. The translation process is in itself an art. It is an activity by which a text is translated from one language into another so that it is easily understood by the intended audience. So, our advice is to be patient and follow all the steps, because this will give you the desired result and superior quality. And if you decide to skip some steps, be prepared that the result may not be as artistic as you would have liked.

Now you can breathe in relief. That’s it for today’s little info session. We hope the information we have given you has been useful and interesting. But wait, we still have more stories to tell you about translations. In the next article we’ll teach you how to measure a translation page and what are the categories of written translations. And if you have any questions about anything we mentioned above, the Transl8 team is at your service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Te rugăm să citești politica de confidențialitate și cookies, iar dacă ești de acord și accepți să primești comunicări pe e-mail de la Transl8.ro, inclusiv comunicări comerciale, te rugăm bifează mai jos: