Translators are often the unsung heroes of many business sectors – after all, it’s said that you know that a text has been well translated when you can’t even tell that it’s a translation. So what ARE translators working on behind the scenes – and how are they benefitting millions of businesses and individuals?
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.
Many translators would agree that there are two ways to translate something. While some of our clients appreciate that translations take time, require creativity and expertise, and may not word-for-word look like the original text, other clients may prefer a literal translation to be on the safe side, or may say something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect” or “as long as people can understand what it says”.
Last month, a friend of mine wanted a translation from English into Spanish, Italian and German, and while I recommended some of my trusted colleagues to her, she had mentioned that someone in her office had suggested they use Fiverr.
I shared my horror with my colleague and friend, Hannah Keet, and we bemoaned the fact that people seem to expect quality professional work, but are only willing to pay peanuts – but for peanuts, the quality will surely not be great. That’s when Hannah had the idea: why don’t we test this theory for ourselves through a “mystery shopping” exercise?
Photo credit: Edward Borlase
Ahh, false friends: the bane of any languages student’s life – as well as being rather annoying for translators and travellers alike. Just when you think you’re getting the hang of a language, you come across a word that looks exactly like an English word. Brilliant, you think – and then, you find out later, that it wasn’t at all the word that you thought it was.