The Gap Between Translators and Clients
Take a Look at These Translation Blogs and Journals
To begin to get a sense for what kind of dedication and integrity it takes to become a professional translator, you might want to quickly peruse a few of the places they hang out. Translation Journal, for example, is a favorite place to stay current on translation trends and theory. If you spend only a few minutes looking through the articles and resources, you’ll be bound to get an idea for the incredible focus and dedication it must take to be a proficient translator.
Over at Thoughts on Translation, Corinne McKay gives great advice for translators. In doing so, she lets out what I think is a kind of industry secret: translators are not usually natural marketers or entrepreneurs. Of course, absolutely, this is not always the case. But by and large, people drawn to spending hours refining their skills in this profession don’t usually have time left over to learn entrepreneurship and marketing. They’re too busy being excellent translators.
Even when you read the writing of Fire Ant and Worker Bee over at the Prosperous Translator, you get the sense for how necessary it is to have this conversation among translators. Translators are highly intelligent, disciplined professionals, and, most of the time, most of them genuinely want to spend their precious time translating.
How You, the Translation Client, Can Help
Certainly, it is up to the translators to learn the nuts and bolts of marketing, entrepreneurship and business acumen. All the better for those who have chosen any of these fields as their specialty. But to get the most out of your translation experience, there are a few things you can do. They all basically come down to an appreciation for the work being done, and taking the initiative in communication with your translator.
- Let your translator know that you understand and appreciate the dedication and time it takes to translate your work. Really – you don’t have to go on and on, but a simple acknowledgement that you understand the focus it takes, and appreciate the work involved, will go a long way.
- Communicate. From the start, take the initiative to start regular communication. Let the translator know that you are open to questions and that you welcome communication. This will start everyone off well, and will lay the groundwork from the beginning for open and clear communication, should anything get difficult.
- As we have stated previously, make sure your translator has the full story: if there are previous translations, let them know. If their work will be part of a larger project, make sure everyone is using the same lexicon. It is important that everyone have access to the full project for the best results.
- Understand, and make sure your translator knows you understand, that there will be edits. Nothing is done perfectly in a first draft. Let your translator know that you are open to a dialogue and a continual refinement of the translation until everyone is satisfied.
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