Specialists and Generalists

There are translators who translate everything: All kinds of texts and all types of topics. I admit that this may possibly multiply the number of requests they receive, but does this sharpen their profile? And does this earn them the trust of their clients?

Actually, I have only a small number of subject areas for which I offer translation services, but I feel confident in all three of them. I believe that specialization increases quality. In our times knowledge is so diverse and information is so abundant that in my opinion it becomes increasingly hard to remain a generalist in one’s profession.

Now, the translation profession with its aeon old history is a typical field to attract generalists in mind. I, too, consider myself a generalist, but in the professional context I use this ability to perform the following task for me: Keep my mind open to ideas and topics that are outside my specialty fields so that I can see beyond the mere words and grasp the meaning of a text more efficiently. Actually, this ability helps me to produce translations that remain true to the original and at the same time read like they were written as original texts themselves.

By the way, my three areas of translation expertise are (1) marketing collaterals for IT and engineering companies, (2) user manuals and technical instructions for software products, production machinery or technical instruments, and (3) GUI texts and human-machine interface related texts.

Generally, I trust specialists with an open mind
Karoline

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