Let us begin by defining a translator. A translator is a person that provides native-quality translations. Native quality means that the translated material reads as though it was originally written in the target language.

A translator must have
     • Native fluency in the source language
     • A thorough understanding of the target language
     • Excellent writing skills
     • Familiarity with the terminology in the desired field
     • Awareness of cultural differences and language subtleties

A professional translator must know that translation is a complex process and does not consist only in rendering a text from one language into another. There are many things that a translator must bear in mind during the process. First, the translator should read carefully any project instructions, and prepare or have a look at a glossary and a style guide. Second phase after translation is Editing/Auto-correction. This done against source material and include format, linguistic and technical check. Edited or auto-corrected documents should be of high quality, and treated as final. Next step is proofreading. Proofreader should check if the text is 100% translated, and whether instructions, glossary and reference materials were carefully followed. Last phase of the process is QA check . It concerns only a sample of the translated material. The language specialist should follow QA Standards and prepare a report to document the evaluation of the translation.

Project management is also a key factor in delivering best quality. Unfortunately many (companies and individuals) believe that the translation of a project that took months to prepare can quickly and safely be done in a matter of days.
While this may be technically feasible nowadays, more often than not the quality of such thrown together translations is compromised.
You as a client should be carefully scrutinizing any: "no deadline too short" and "we'll do it quicker and better than our competitors" - and similar claims.

In a 'rush job' errors arise not only from the translator's inability to devote sufficient time to thoroughly check and edit the material, but also from the lack of time to conduct the necessary research that includes consulting an expert or seeking clarification from the author. Most translation agencies, companies as well as individual translators will make a 'rush charge' where the client (purchaser) requests a translation at a very short notice, so it is clearly in your interest to plan ahead and avoid such unnecessary extra costs.

Copyright © 2004 iTranslator. All rights reserved.