how to improve
Thread poster: Richardson Lisa
Richardson Lisa  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:02
Member (2009)
French to English
Oct 14, 2009

Hi all
Relatively new to professional translating and preparing for the IOL exam in January , I wondered if anyone had any tips for improving. My clients to date have all been very pleased with the translations I've done for them. But, I was thinking, how close to 'perfection' can you get when translating?Clearly there is an element of subjectivity here, and I wondered what those of you that have been in translation for a long time thought about this. Is it realistic to expect a faultless translation? Obviously, grammatically, technically etc it needs to be faultless but can you expect 'no revision' or is this unrealistic?
Having lived in France since 1995 I think my major problem is fluidity or maybe you could call it lack of naturalness. Sometimes when I read back my work I just don't notice that something is just a teeny weeny bit stilted or unnatural. Are there ways of improving this, other than the obvious such as keep reading in the target language etc etc.
Any help or advice on this subject would be much appreciated
regards
Lisa


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:02
English to German
+ ...
Hi Lisa! I like your approach. Oct 14, 2009

Very professional already!

Richardson Lisa wrote:
how close to 'perfection' can you get when translating?Clearly there is an element of subjectivity here, and I wondered what those of you that have been in translation for a long time thought about this. Is it realistic to expect a faultless translation? Obviously, grammatically, technically etc it needs to be faultless but can you expect 'no revision' or is this unrealistic?


A translation should be faultless at all times. Still, have a dozen different and brilliant translators work on the same text, and you will receive 12 different results, all of which may be faultless. "Perfectioness" (please allow me to use this gaga-word on purpose, because that's what I am getting at) however, lies in the eye of the beholder.

Sometimes when I read back my work I just don't notice that something is just a teeny weeny bit stilted or unnatural.


One reader might consider it stilted, the next one simply normal, and the next one way too colloquial.

Just keep and develop your own style. Predictable, ongoing and consistent quality. Customers like that.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
J.Muldoon
Germany
Local time: 23:02
German to English
TV? Oct 14, 2009

Have you got a satellite receiver? I couldn't cope without having the BBC (and ITV, CH4 etc.) chattering away in the background and the fact that it keeps me up to date with British current affairs and trends in the language are a great excuse of course

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catriona Thomas
Local time: 23:02
German to English
How to Improve Oct 14, 2009

Yes, a perennial issue for all translators and interpreters, especially if you are living abroad and have done so for a long time (in my case almost 30 years). I try and read English newspapers and trade journals as often as possible (online if necessary), and all my recreational reading is done in English. I must confess, our recent conversion to SAT TV now enables me to get BBC and ITV - fantastic. Otherwise, I try to attend training sessions held by the relevant professional associations (BDÜ and IOL) once or twice a year. That's about it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:02
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
take a second look Oct 14, 2009

Hi Lisa,

Take a piece of work you translated 6 months or year ago and see if you would make a different translation now (...now that you are more experienced, ...now that you know more about the style of the customer...)

If you really change everything -> you have already improved, if nothing comes to mind you where already "perfect" (although I'm pretty sure you took less time, this time around...)

====
Ed


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Richardson Lisa  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:02
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
good ideas Oct 14, 2009

Thanks to all for you contributions.
I don't really watch the telly much, but I suppose I could keep the radio on in the background, although I spend a lot of time whizzing my young kids around.
Edward's idea is a good one. I know through preparing for the exam underexam conditions (time, materials etc) that I have got a lot quicker and that I find it a lot easier.I've also established a routine which saves a lot of time. after reading the text, I fluo all words where I'd like to check the meaning or have a choice of context specific answers. I then put them into alphabetical order, this saves an unestimated amount of time with the dico!!!Not being able to just look things up on the net is a killer, but it's an excellent exercise.I'm also handwriting for the exam which again is a change from the computer, but I prefer it under these conditions. I don't want to get the end of the exam, and not know how to use the printer provided aaaarggghhh what a nightmare - as you can see I'm not hot on the computing side.
Anyway thanks for the replies so far, and please keep them coming
Regards
Lisa


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Earl  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:02
Member (2007)
German to English
Additional Comments Oct 14, 2009

I think Nicole has covered her part succintly. This is, however, one more issue to be aware of: each business, and corporations in particular, develop their own in-house expressions in all of the languages that they use. My most recent experience with this involved a German word which normally means "acceptance", but that particular company wanted to use it in the sense of "estimate". Unfortunately, it was in a line item descripton without any further usage of (context for) that German word in the document, so the initial draft had to be revised. It happens.

My approach to improvement includes finding sources for both languages, so that I can follow how both are developing. For example, I look for social activities, where I can maintain contact with people who are still programming, so that I can hear what German words they are choosing for which concepts. I don't try to angle the conversation to "business", but I allow to come naturally, as part of talking about life in general. Sometimes it's politics, sometimes finance, and that all adds to my second language vocabulary.

Keeping track of the field by means of trade journals (in both languages) is another tactic, obviously.

One thing I do love is having access to the PBS distribution network for programming (www.pbs.org) with their focus on educating and informing, so that I can keep up my American on a variety of topics that way.

Like Nicole said, do what you do and you'll find customers.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

how to improve

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search