Blog for translators and translation buyers

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It is never easy to ask questions. As professionals, we might fear that people reading our questions think we should have known, or found, the answer ourselves. Many of us have also experienced translation project managers (TPMs) or clients ignoring the questions we asked, or at least not paying attention to all of them. It also takes time to write questions, check the answers, discuss some of the options and/or implement any subsequent changes. Clients are...

How to prepare your texts for translation When you send a document to an agency for translation, there’s a perfectly understandable desire for it to be a fire-and- forget process. After all, this is one of the major benefits of outsourcing translation work: the translation agency offers its specialist expertise, while you concentrate on your core business. And the agency will do everything in its power to make that possible: sourcing the right translator for the...

These days, it’s becoming more and more common for translators to specialise in a given field. It’s a sound strategy: after all, the better you understand a particular subject, the easier it will be to comprehend relevant source texts and render them fluently in your native language. It’s a way of ensuring that your translations are as natural and authentic as they can be – and from a business perspective, it’s a great way to...

Is there anything that shouldn’t be translated? All right, we’ll admit it: it does sound like an odd question. Especially coming from a translation agency. After all, we do live in the age of information. With search engines and encyclopaedias and on-demand media just a mouse-click away, universal access to content is something that most people take for granted now. These days, everyone wants access to everything, all of the time. So yes, in that context,...

Recently on this blog, we looked at whether any single language would let you speak to everyone on the planet (see The continuing importance of translation in a globalised world). The conclusion was pretty definitive: even in the age of telecommunications and international business, there is no such thing as a universal language right now. But what about the future? Could there ever, conceivably, be a way for everyone to understand everyone else, no matter...