Quality matters: the deeper the roots, the stronger the tree

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:

  • 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

alte dicke Baumwurzel über der Erde

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.