When hired to become a translator, you have a lot of responsibilities in your hands. Take note that when you have mistranslated a word, it could have negative ripple effects. Therefore, before you submit your translations back to your client, your work must be free from error. Here are some tips that you can consider to make sure that you will make your translations right this time around.
• Don’t stop after proofreading your work once. You need to read it over and over again. There might be some small mistakes that you have overlooked on the first proofreading. While editing your work, don’t just pay attention on the words that you have translated. You also need to consider the use of correct grammar, punctuations and arrangement of words in a sentence.
• Maximize the use of proofreading tools and software. A lot of them are available online for free. The best part is that the more modern versions do not just proofread the article, but also provide explanations as to why they are wrong. By then, it becomes a learning process for you as well. Even if you have already corrected the work many times, there might still be some problems that you have overlooked. By using these tools, you have the assurance that every detail of the article is perfect.
• If you are not a native speaker of one of the languages, then it is best to have a native speaker read what you have done. If you have a friend or a relative who speaks the language fluently, then ask them to take a look at what you have done. They don’t necessarily have to edit the article. They can simply go through it and see if the article feels natural or not. If the work seems too “forced” or unnatural, then you have to revise the article.
• Be more familiar with idioms and other expressions that are specific to a particular language. These expressions are the ones that usually cause confusions. When you are not familiar about a certain expression, then ask. It is better to ask and get correct answers rather than assume and end up with lots of mistakes.
• If there are certain words that are non-translatable, don’t translate them by force. For instance, in some languages, they are already used to the use of a specific English word rather than its native word counterpart. If you use the translated word, it might even be more difficult to understand. Therefore, you just have to copy the original word. You can put it inside quotation marks or have the word italicized to be safe.
• Read one last time. Before you send what you have translated to your client, read it again. There might be very minor mistakes that have been overlooked. Again, the slightest mistake could potentially hurt your image as a good translator.
There are so many ways to ensure that your work as a translator is flawless. Sometimes it might take a long time to translate some articles depending on their length or how familiar you are with the topic at hand. Thus, you need to be more patient in doing the necessary revisions to achieve the best results.