5 Expert Tips for Efficient and Effective Translations
Translators- we’re an intriguing breed, aren’t we? In our unique field of work, busy bees, free birds, and wise old owls all strive to help others effectively communicate across language barriers. It is a noble goal, and one that only be accomplished when we work together.
Therefore, we need to exchange ideas, and share a few tips whenever possible. Even wise old owls can learn a new trick or two! Here are 5 tips from the expert translators at Albion Languages.
- Take your time
We’ve all been there. The clock is ticking, but your 5,000 word translation is hardly getting any shorter. Stress is forming like a bad case of indigestion, and your fingers are smacking that keyboard to the rhythm of your racing heart.
Relax. Breathe. Make a cup of tea. Expert translators know that speed does not usually lead to quality results. In fact, most find that spending more time at the beginning of a project helps to speed up the process in the end.
The more time you spend reading the instructions and determining the significance of the document, the less time you’ll spend on correcting mistakes. Breath, take your time, and avoid turning into a red-eyed speed freak!
Zsófia Gregor, Linguistic Team Lead and Project Coordinator – Budapest
- Learn new programs and CAT tools
If there is one thing that expert translators can’t stress enough, it is the need to be flexible to the client’s expectations. And clients are never more appreciative, than when their translator is willing to learn their preferred CAT tool or software. It may seem a small thing, but in the eyes of the client, you will suddenly become not only flexible, but invaluable.
Diversify your translation skills and boost your Proz ratings by learning a new CAT tool or program. Specialist programmes such as Passolo, Catalyst, and Across among others can all be learnt very easily, with very little time and effort required.
- Create project-specific termbases
If you’re a translator focused on medical or technical fields, your best friend is undoubtedly your termbase creator. Termbases help translators keep track of commonly-used terms, and ensure consistency of terminology throughout the translation. Yet, despite their vital importance, many translators only use the TB provided by the client, and fail to make their own.
Creating your own termbase for every project will only make your job easier. Adding to it as you work will help you remain consistent, and speed up the quality-control check later on. Furthermore, it will help to save those difficult terms to both mind and desktop, guaranteeing easier translation of similar projects in the future.
Gábor Kisvári, Linguist – Budapest
- Always run a second spell-check
As every good translator knows, a translation is not complete without a thorough quality-control check, including a quick run-through spell-checker. What every expert translator knows, is that a second spell-check run will help to take a good translation to gold-star, high-quality status. While you’re racing against the clock to make some last-minute changes, it’s easy to forget to recheck the document. No-one wants their changes to spell doom for their translation. A second spell-check is essential, especially after running the translation through QA programmes where complex changes may be made.
Spell-check, QA check, then spell-check again. Easy!
Máté János Varga, Linguist and Proofreader – Tata
- Communicate with colleagues
Freelance translators truly deserve to be called free-birds. Bound to no one, their colleagues can often be found in emails and translation forums. In contrast, in-house translators frequently have the benefit of working with a team. No matter where you call “office”, find a way to communicate with fellow translators. There is no shame in seeking help for a difficult translation, or asking advice from a professional proofreader. Fly with the flock, and work together.
Zsófia Takács, Linguist, Project Coordinator, and Company Owner- Tata