What to do if you’re not happy with a translation you’ve commissioned

You may not have to throw away your translation

On my blog, I like to talk about how to get the best possible translation for your money and reach the happiest ending for either you or your business – but unfortunately, sometimes things may not go as planned, either for the translator or for the person requesting the translation. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never received questions about a translation I’ve done – although thankfully, these have never been full-on complaints, just clarifications 😉

Still, if you’ve hired a translator to translate your website or business documents, but something feels a bit off…how do you fix it?

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Got a bilingual colleague? Don’t use them for business translations

Bilingual employee translating company documents

In my previous job, there was a Dutch guy and a French woman (and me) and we were always called upon to do quick translations for our teams. The company we worked for was in that funny position where there wasn’t enough demand for there to be a full-time in-house translator, but the need for small or urgent translations still arose from time to time – for things like invoice queries, training materials, and certain emails.

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3 challenges of translating tourism content

Tourism Translation

I wrote a guest blog post for the translation technology company SDL about the challenges of translating tourism content.

Although translating texts for the tourism industry can be very interesting, there is a lot more work to it than meets the eye, and it’s certainly not something that should be rushed – or left to chance.

Read an excerpt from my blog post below, and read the full article here.

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When is it OK to use Google Translate?

cogs-resized

Google Translate, and other machine translation (MT) programs, have come along in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Not only can we download apps where we can just type in words and instantly get a result in another language, but you can take photos of signs and get a translation straight away, and even instantly translate voice and video calls with the likes of Skype Translator. With the magic of deep learning technology, computers are able to “learn” more and in theory, improve the quality of their output the more it is used.
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Differences in Business Culture – UK vs. France

Even though we’re only about 21 miles apart at the shortest point of the English Channel, France can sometimes feel like a world apart from the UK. Stereotyping both parties is almost too easy – The French think that the British drop everything to drink tea at 5 pm, while the Brits think that the French drop everything to go on strike…well, whenever they please!  Continue reading

An introduction to theatre captioning

Photo of Theatre Script. Copyright Natalie Soper 2015

Captioning, and in particular theatre captioning, is not necessarily directly related to translation – it tends to be used to provide access to audience members who are hard of hearing. Captioning is different to video subtitling and opera surtitles (which often do have an element of translation), as captions give extra information, such as indicating who is speaking as well as sound effects, in order to give the best experience to the viewer who may not be able to hear these aspects otherwise.

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5 things that freelancers should know about agencies (from someone who’s worked in both)


It’s the ultimate dream to be your own boss, but with it comes great responsibility: not only are you managing and motivating yourself, but you have to seek your own income, do your own taxes, not forgetting to put money aside for retirement….and on top of that, any sick leave or holiday that you take all adds up to time where you’re not earning.

It should come to no surprise, then, that if a freelancer in any profession feels like their time is being wasted, they may get a little….shirty.

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