A little seedling needs light, water and time in order to become a strong tree. As I work, I often have this image in mind, because translations are quite similar. Quality translations take time and care. So, in order to guarantee high-quality translations, I implement 5 process steps for each new task:
Quality matters: the deeper the roots, the stronger the tree
- 1 The rough translation: During this phase, I often have a number of possible translations alongside one another. Sections that are unclear are marked or I add a comment.
- 2 Thorough research: Content and language are checked and I carefully scrutinize the text.
- 3 A crosscheck of the original compared to the translation: Is it complete? Have I understood everything correctly? If I am ever unsure, I will check back with you.
- 4 Editing the translation: I read through the document as if it were an independent German text. This is when I distance myself from the original copy – after all, the German text should not sound like a translation.
- 5 Proofreading: Finally, I proofread the text by checking spelling, punctuation and grammar.
I repeat steps 4 and 5 if necessary. Ideally, I like to allow a few days between the first translation of your text and the editing and correction process. Gaining some distance helps me improve the text and notice things that I might have otherwise missed.
„It is fair to say that true relationships require time, as do trees, in order to grow roots, branch out and bear fruit.“ J.W. v. Goethe
A plea for more time
Often, more time, or the ideal amount of time for completing a translation simply isn’t available. Nevertheless, I ask that you allow enough time for me to execute these five steps. This will enable me to create a quality translation in a concentrated manner.
Of course – time is money. However, a poor-quality translation can also have expensive repercussions: extra expenses for re-working a text and, in the worst case, it could even result in damage to your image or sinking sales volumes.
You can help – 5 pieces of information that will help me improve text quality within the fastest possible timeframe:
- Context. What is the translation being used for? Will it be published? If so, where? What is its purpose?
- Target audience. Who is the translation for? Who will read it and why? Who am I addressing?
- Reference materials. Have other, similar translations already been produced? Does a company glossary or list of terms exist? Are photos or graphics involved and available?
- Contact person. Who can I turn to if I have any questions?
- Long-term cooperation. The more I get to know your company, the better and faster I will be able to find the right words and phrases.