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A Rush Translation Preparedness Guide

September 16, 2008 2 Comments »

Maybe one of the higher ups forgot that the handbook has to be in Spanish as well as English. Maybe part of the PowerPoint presentation is missing and needs to be for tomorrow’s meeting. Whatever the case, if you’re the client, you need it now. And if you’re the , you need to do it now. Here are a few tips on what both sides (client & ) can do to make a situation known for causing nervous breakdowns go as smoothly as possible.

For the Client: Make sure that the translator or translation company has all the information they need, plus anything else you can provide (glossary, , , etc.) so that there are no hold ups once the ball gets rolling. Answer any questions coming from the other side as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. And above all, remember that a quality translation takes time and hard work. Miracles can happen, but impossible demands will not get them.

For the Translator: Take a deep breath. Get all of your materials together, make sure you’re clear on the exact specifications of the project, and then get to work. Here’s the trick though: take a lot of short breaks. I know it seems impossible, but force yourself to do it. typically result in low quality not because of the time crunch per se, but because a translator spends 8 consecutive hours translating and errors get made, the translator zones out, and the translation itself becomes more and more literal. So take 5 minutes and take a walk or eat an apple. Whatever you need to stay fresh. And follow the golden rule of course, save early and save often!


2 Responses to “A Rush Translation Preparedness Guide”

  • Commented on September 18, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Taking short breaks, that really is the key. It seems so counterintuitive to someone who has never done it but it really is important. Stepping away for even just a minute can refresh your mind and clear it for the next go around.

    I think another useful tip is to get someone to proofread the final draft if you can. Maybe not even a professional proofreader but someone that can look at the final copy to make sure the target language text flows correctly. Like you said, it’s easy to become too literal when trying to hurry and finish a translation.

  • Commented on September 17, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Taking short breaks, that really is the key. It seems so counterintuitive to someone who has never done it but it really is important. Stepping away for even just a minute can refresh your mind and clear it for the next go around.

    I think another useful tip is to get someone to proofread the final draft if you can. Maybe not even a professional proofreader but someone that can look at the final copy to make sure the target language text flows correctly. Like you said, it’s easy to become too literal when trying to hurry and finish a translation.