The SME and the Translator

Many texts to be translated are originally written by specialists in a certain technical field, in the translating world often referred to as the SME, or subject-matter expert. Often these texts are then used or published in both language versions.

Specialists usually look back on many years of experience in the subject area that they write about. So, where and how do you find a translator to match?

You won’t. Well, honestly, what is the probability that there is a professional translator with exactly the same level of expertise in the required subject field? Nil or less.

So, what to do? The solution is knowledge transfer.

Somehow the know-how must be transferred from the SME to the translator. An experienced translator actually will insist that this happens, because s/he knows that otherwise no high-quality target text can be produced.

Such knowledge transfer is made possible by allowing an adequately extensive Q&A exchange between the SME and the translator. In most technical and specialized contexts, this will at least include the setting up of an agreed terminology base to ensure a consistent and reliable wording throughout the text at hand (and possible future translations).

Experts complement one another
Karoline

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