What are the stages or processes of translation
Thread poster: Luke Mersh

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:20
Spanish to English
Oct 14, 2011

I would like to know what the stages or process of translation consistes of.
I have been doing some translations as projects, but I am not a professional.
So I would like to know what you look for first before starting to translate, I am very interested in learning and perfecting my skills.
any advice will be well received.

regards


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Abdallah Saeed
Oman
Local time: 17:20
English to Arabic
+ ...
Read, Understand, Feel then translate Oct 15, 2011

Luke

I think the first thing you need to know about a piece of translation is what type of text you are going to deal with.
Second, read the text thoroughly (if short, otherwise initial pages will tell) to understand its message and to familiarize yourself with it. During the second stage, you will be able to draw out the knowledge, skills, cultural background and enthusiasm to start the translation process. For me, I never do something that I do not feel cheering.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Stages of translation Oct 15, 2011

Everybody has their own methods and you do what works for you.

My stages are usually:

1) I print the entire document.

2) I read through the document and search for the meaning of any unknown terminology. I write these terms directly on the print-out. If terms are repeated, I write an ad-hoc glossary on the first page of the document or I use a separate sheet of paper. If I find that I am not needing to do a lot of research, I will skip to step 3.

3) I start typing a draft translation, paying attention to meaning and not worrying too much about syntax at this stage (I "think" in the source language). I look up additional unknown terms/words and do additional internet/book research as I go. If I come across something I do not understand, I mark it for later (?, highlight, etc.). I either complete the entire draft of the document according to this stage, before moving on to stage 4, or if it is a longer document, I may do these stages in batches and alternate back and forth between stages 3 and 4.

4) I start back at the beginning of the document, this time rewriting the document so that it sounds as close as possible to something a native speaker would write (I "think" in the target language). I resolve all unknown terminology/grammar problems and finalize my terminology decisions. This stage is slow at first, but speeds up as you make your final terminological decisions and resolve anomalies (that are many times repeated throughout the same text).

5) I spell check the entire document and resolve any word processing issues (create/update table of contents, fix widows at the bottom of pages, etc.)

6) I print out the translation.

7) I work side by side with the source document and the translation and check to make sure that there are no missing sentences, paragraphs, etc. I also check the spelling of all names and I check all numbers.

8) I then proceed to edit the document with the source document next to me. I write the changes on the print-out. If I come across anything that requires a global change to the entire document, I note this on the first page. If I read something that doesn't sound quite right, I will check the source document again, call/write the client, etc.

10) I then enter all of these edits into the word processor and make any global changes. I then repeat step 5.

11) I print out the document again and give it a final read through without reference to the source text in order to catch any final mistakes/typos, etc.

12) I make the final edits to the target document.

You can use a CAT tool to automate some of this process, but I find that I still need to edit outside the CAT tool for stylistic purposes because I need to know where one paragraph ends and the other begins or I will end up with seven paragraphs starting with "However," or "Therefore," and I need to see how the text flows which is difficult in a CAT tool where all the text seems to run together.

Of course there is an additional set of things to do BEFORE you agree to translate the document in the first place.


[Edited at 2011-10-15 14:47 GMT]


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:20
English to German
+ ...
good advice Oct 15, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Everybody has their own methods and you do what works for you.

My stages are usually:

1) I print the entire document.
...
12) I make the final edits to the target document.

You can use a CAT tool to automate some of this process, but I find that I still need to edit outside the CAT tool for stylistic purposes because I need to know where one paragraph ends and the other begins or I will end up with seven paragraphs starting with "However," or "Therefore," and I need to see how the text flows which is difficult in a CAT tool where all the text seems to run together.

Of course there is an additional set of things to do BEFORE you agree to translate the document in the first place.


[Edited at 2011-10-15 14:47 GMT]


Yes, and every client should know that's what is involved in doing this job.


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imatahan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Perfect Observations Oct 15, 2011

I also like to have the papers in hand to read and make notes. But we are living in a time of preserving nature... So, I avoid printing.

But I follow all the other steps and I wished the clients could imagine what an accurate and careful translations demands, instead of asking thousands of words in few hours or days. It never results in an excellent work this way.


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:20
German to Spanish
+ ...
What are the stages or processes of translation Oct 16, 2011

luke mersh wrote:

I would like to know what the stages or process of translation consistes of.
I have been doing some translations as projects, but I am not a professional.
So I would like to know what you look for first before starting to translate, I am very interested in learning and perfecting my skills.
any advice will be well received.

regards


It depends of the kind of translations you will have to do. Worth reading, Lynn's E. Web thesis at the Monterey Institute : http://techlingua.com/translation/TMThesis-1998.zip
The html files will give you an exact image of the different translation flows. Good luck!

[Edited at 2011-10-16 00:38 GMT]


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