Translation is the carriage across of written ideas from one language to another. This is in contrast to interpreting, which takes place in spoken form.
If you have a letter, report, pamphlet, book, webpage, presentation or any other text/visual document that you can’t understand, or if you have one to communicate to a colleague abroad, you’ll need a translator.
The translator will read that document, understand it, and recreate it as faithfully as possible in a language that the target reader will understand. Note that the middle stage is crucial for a good translation: A language is not just a set of words with direct equivalents in other languages, but a means of expressing complex and subtle ideas, and a translator cannot hope to accurately and faithfully convey these ideas in another language if (s)he does not understand them.
You can count on me to provide a high-quality translation because:
- I have an excellent command of my native language. Don’t just choose any old English speaker to craft your translated texts. Some of us know our yours from our you’res, and some don’t. This may not always be important in everyday life, but for translators, composition skills in the native language are every bit as essential as they are to a writer (after all, we are writers, amongst other things). Unless you want a simplistic, inelegant or even grammatically incorrect translation, choose someone who has mastered their own language. I have a sound knowledge of English spelling and grammar, and I also have a great deal of experience writing academic essays, webpages and articles, so I know how to express concepts appropriately, taking into account the medium, purpose, genre and audience of the text.
- My foreign language skills are highly advanced. I have a first-class degree in French and Spanish literature, language and culture, and I have spent a year living, working and studying in the countries where these languages are spoken. This has equipped me to master these languages on a deeper level than the words alone – understanding the culture of a language means I can grasp its subtleties and convey them in my translations. A great deal of attention has gone into writing your report, marketing copy, staff handbook, or whatever else it may be: It deserves a translator who respects the careful wording of ‘Several mistakes were made here’ rather than ‘Someone made a lot of mistakes here’.
- I meet deadlines and I keep promises. I have never missed a deadline, and I don’t intend to start any time soon. My clients know that if I say I can take on a project, it’s as good as done. I know how much work I can handle at once, so I’ll never make a promise I can’t keep; and I value my reputation and track record very highly, so I will do what it takes to preserve it and keep my word every time. If I promise you a translation, I won’t let you down.
- I know when to ask questions and when to use my initiative. Sometimes texts can be ambiguous: “Sandra told Ashley that she thought she was ugly” could mean that Sandra is suffering from poor body-image, or it could mean that Sandra is insulting Ashley. It doesn’t matter how talented the translator is – if the context doesn’t clarify which woman the word “she” refers to, there is simply no way of knowing. In this scenario, a translator owes it to the client to clarify what the author meant, rather than making their best guess and hoping it’s correct.
- I am experienced, highly commended and passionate to boot. I have been translating professionally for a year, and on a voluntary basis for several months before that. All my feedback to date from clients and proofreaders has been positive. Clients have praised my linguistic skills, time management, ability to work under pressure, client communication and punctuality. You can access my full list of client testimonials here. Finally, language and translation matter to me. I have volunteered my time to help bridge the gap between cultures, I set up a translation society at my university, and I continually invest in my language learning through travel, study and building relationships with other linguists. More about my language and business philosophy can be found on my ‘About’ page.
If you are interested in hiring me for translation services, you’re in good hands. Please get in touch if you wish to request a free quote or receive more information about my qualifications, experience and references.