Translation is the rendition of a text into a different language. It demands a clear understanding of the source language, excellent writing skills in the target language, and awareness of both source and target cultures.
Translators must be able to back away from the original wording, conceive the expressed idea in their own mind, and rephrase it in their native language. The translation must flow as naturally as the original text.
- I will closely follow all your instructions about format, style, or any other particular requests.
- Whenever necessary, I will inquire about your preferences, e.g. whether you would like product names to be translated or left in English. If you wish to get advice, I can help you avoiding a bad choice by telling you whether a product name sounds appropriate for a French-speaking audience.
- If the source text includes references to other material, I will ask whether this material was already translated into French. If so, I will ask for the existing translation to ensure consistency. This applies in particular to user manuals referring to the user interface.
- I will make sure that terminology used in the translation is consistent with any reference material, such as glossaries or previous translated material that you may have provided.
- I will raise questions about anything that would remain unclear in the source text after appropriate research.
Consistent use of the same French word for its English counterpart is important in technical translation. Users might get confused if different terms refer to the same item. They will also be confused if terms used in a manual do not reflect terms used in the user interface.
To ensure consistency within a project, I can use computer-aided translation (CAT) tools such as Trados. These applications reduce the risk of inconsistency by displaying previous translation units (i.e. source text and its translation) during the translation of new material. If new material is similar to previously translated text, I can simply copy the existing translation and make appropriate changes. Not only does this process improve quality, it also makes translation of repetitive text much faster, and therefore cheaper.