Special Ops – When Translation is not Enough

Sometimes texts are submitted for translation before they have been finalized. There are different reasons for this to happen. For example, the author of the text may not be an experienced writer. The text may not be meant for publishing in the source language and is therefore treated as a draft only. There may not have been enough time scheduled for thoroughly conceptualizing, writing and editing the text. In fact, the reasons are manyfold and often they are excuses.

But what happens when such a text is handed over to a translator?

Well, first of all, don’t expect a text to get better through translation. If you are aware of any shortcomings of the original text and still just hand it over to a translator, you will most likely be disappointed by the result.

Of course, a professional translator’s answer to such a text therefore has to be a question: “Will this text be used in the source language like this?”

If the answer is no, the next step will be a thorough analysis of the source to resolve questions and unclarities. Only then can the actual translation be started. Anything else would produce errors, unwanted low quality of the foreign-language text, and improper effects on the readers of the target text.

If the answer is yes, the translator will probably suggest to improve and correct the source before starting to translate.

Make translation matter


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