The translation workflow - part 2
In this article we will try to show in a schematic way the stages of the translation process, since the division in tasks helps to optimize all the operations.
In this article we will try to show in a schematic way the stages of the translation process, since the division in tasks helps to optimize all the operations. In this way, it is easier to detect in which stage an error has occurred and to fix it so that it does not happen again in the future and, therefore, the quality of the final product is optimal.
Many authors integrate preparation and analysis into this phase, but we have preferred to introduce these phases in the article on the pre-translation process. Therefore, in this article we will deal with the basic tasks in the translation process, which we will divide into the stages of translation itself, verification and revision.
In this stage, we work with the source text and, at the same time, take into account the requirements of the translation brief so that the target text is as natural as possible. Below we propose some of the tasks to be taken into account during the translation process.
- Regarding the format: ensuring the format of the source document.
- Add new terminology in the glossary.
- Ensure terminological consistency.
- Use accurate words and terminology.
- Adapt to the linguistic conventions and rules of the target language (spelling, punctuation, writing, stylistic aspects).
- Take into account the target audience and the purpose of the target text.
- Take into account the client's style guide .
Whether you use CAT tools or not, at this stage you need to use dictionaries, both monolingual and bilingual, style and spelling guides, reliable search engines for doubts, databases, specialized corpus to extract terminology, forums, etc. Some of the most interesting online examples are
Ideas afines (synonyms and related ideas)
Bilingual dictionaries (various language pairs)
WordReference (synonyms and antonyms)
On-line automatic translators
Search engines for questions
RAE, for Spanish.
Corpus del español, for Spanish.
COCA, for American English.
British National Corpus, for British English.
When we translate we must be very careful with numerical expressions since, for example, one US billion is a Millard or a thousand million in Spanish and such an error could represent a considerable loss of money for a client, because a Spanish billion is a US trillion. Another rule that many people do not know is that, for example in Spanish, there should be a space between the figure and the unit: 567 €, 3,25 cm. Also remember that you must convert the amount to the units that your audience uses. A very useful website to convert quantities is UnitConverters.
As far as the stylistic aspects are concerned, personal treatment should be taken into account depending on whether the relationship between the sender and the receiver is cordial, informal, respectful or formal. If the translation order does not indicate this, we will base ourselves on the tone of the source text. In addition, the use of upper and lower case letters in the target language will be taken into account, as well as the translation of proper names and official designations. The language used must be non-sexist, i.e. respectful, egalitarian and non-discriminatory.
- Think before you write.
- Focus on the reader.
- Keep it short and simple.
- Be concrete, not abstract.
- Cut out the number of nouns and use more verb forms .
- Prefer active verbs to passive ones.
- Beware of false friends, jargon, acronyms and abbreviations.
- Get the document into shape.
This phase is performed only with the target text. Usually the verification is done by the same translator.
- Of the spelling, grammar, syntax, terminology, phraseology, numerical expressions, etcetera of the target text.
- Of the readability, accuracy, style, register and tone, comparing the source text with the target text.
In large companies, where there is more than one translator per language pair, it is a third party (usually more experienced) who carries out this phase.
- Of the adequacy of the established rules of style.
- Of the presentation and organization of the document.
- Consistency of terminology, linguistic errors, numerical expressions, spelling, etc.
- Spelling: indexes, footnotes, quotations, tables, different font styles (round, italic, small caps, etc.).
I am sure that if you take into account all these phases and aspects when you translate, your work will improve in quality and you will reduce both time and production costs.
See you soon,