The Translation Workflow - Part I
The translation workflow can differ, depending on the nature and size of the translation company we are referring to. Generally speaking, the translation process is divided into two basic types of tasks: those of the pre-translation process and those pertaining to the translation process.
The translation workflow can differ, depending on the nature and size of the translation company we are referring to. Generally speaking, the translation process is divided into two basic types of tasks: those of the pre-translation process and those pertaining to the translation process. Of course, the translator can use a CAT tool to do a more consistent and precise job. Unfortunately (or not), technology is not yet ready for a translation to sound natural, so only a human translator can render it. How? It's all about the translation brief. In this article we will try to show, in a schematic way, the phases of the pre-translation process, since the division into tasks helps optimize all operations, which is the basis for an improvement in quality.
During the pre-translation process we must prepare the documents to be translated and take into account the technical aspects and linguistic requirements of both the text and the client. Below is a list of the aspects to be taken into account at each stage of the pre-translation process:
Preparation of the documents, among others, it will be necessary to determine:
- Customer specifications .
- Possible format changes .
- The type of translation which must be done.
Technical aspects, we should know:
- Whether we have the required software to carry out this modality.
- If we use a CAT tool.
- If we select one or more translation memories or create a new one.
- If we need to align a text to create translation memories.
- If we select one or several terminology databases.
As far as the linguistic requirements are concerned, we will divide them into two phases: the external analysis of the text and the analysis of the text itself, which we will carry out based on the work of Christiane Nord in order to determine
- The author of the text (who writes it).
- The initiator of the text (the one who orders the translation).
- The source language (the language in which the original version was written) .
- The target audience (age, sex, educational level, social environment, geographical origin, social status...).
- The format of the text.
- The place and date of the production of the text and its reception.
- The intention of the text in the source culture (to inform, to express emotions, to persuade, to complain...).
Once the external analysis of the text has been completed, a careful reading should be made in order to
- Determine the subject matter and its relevance in the target culture (the recipient of the translation).
- Determine the relationship between the information presented as new and the information presented as known.
- Determining what the text says (content) and, above all, what it does not say (assumptions).
- Determine the extra-textual factors (images, tables, diagrams...).
- Determining the type of lexicon used (lexical characteristics, terminology, register...).
- Determining how the text is constructed, the order of ideas (coherence).
- Identifying the type of relationships that are established between them (cohesion).
- Determining the type of sentences that exist (simple, compound, active, passive...).
- Determining the tone of the text (personal/impersonal, formal/informal...).
- Taking into account all the previous tasks, determining the effect you want to achieve with the text, what your intention is to identify possible differences with the target communicative situation.
This entire phase, that of the internal and external analysis of the translation brief, helps the translators capture the emotion and the tone in order to be able to render it in the same way when doing the translation. Hence, depending on the tone, the context, the audience, the medium, etc., we will choose one word or another, one expression or another... It is all about being creative so that the translation flows as naturally as possible in the new cultural environment. With all this information, we carry out a terminology work that consists of the extraction of terminology for the creation of the project's lexicon and the search for equivalents... All these tasks and we haven't started translating yet! But don't worry, in the following article we will fully tackle the translation process.
See you soon,