Translation Principles for the Beginning Translator

Thinking about working as a translator? Good! If so, you are facing a challenging task that will enable you to take part in transferring meaning from one language to another. Thanks to your work, people will be able to get to know and understand literary, marketing and professional texts that they need or find interesting. At the same time, it’s important to know that high-quality translation is not an easy task, and in order to start working you must first learn its guiding principles. If you follow and master them, with time, you can even turn into a professional translator.

 Understanding Before Translation

As a translator, your raw material is the original text written in its writer’s tongue, whether it be English, Spanish, French or any other language. Therefore, your initial goal is to understand its meaning in its original language, even before you start translating it to a different language. At first, this looks like a simple task since, as a translator, you have full command of the original language, and you may be in a hurry to leap right into your final translation. However, it’s important to understand that the original text may be written in a unique style, such as poetry or fiction, include unique terms like technical specifications or medical assessments, and even use slang-based expressions and up-to-date cultural codes. Therefore, producing the best possible translation starts with figuring out the meaning of the text before you, in the language in which it was written. In other words, at this stage your goal as translator is to reach a full and deep understanding of the meaning of the text, and if you encounter words and expressions you are not familiar with, you must refer to various sources, such as dictionaries and professional encyclopedias. At the end of the process, you will have before you a text that you fully understand, with no gaps or question marks, and you will be able to move on to the next stage of the translation.

 Giving Meaning to Translation

Naturally, the end goal of any translation, amateur or professional, is to transfer the original meaning to the target language as best possible for the reader. Therefore, what you need to do now is to turn the meaning of the original text into a text in the target language. On the face of it, once more, this looks like a simple task for a translator with a good command of, say, Hebrew, and all that is needed is to change each word in English or French to the corresponding word in Hebrew. However, in practice, in order to achieve a high-quality translation, you must take a wide variety of variables into consideration. For instance, you may be required to provide highly precise translations of professional terms, meaning that you must be familiar with medical, technical or other terminology common in Hebrew. On the other hand, the goal may not be to transfer the text from language to language in a precise manner, but rather to give the text an authentic appearance, as if it had been originally written in Hebrew. Furthermore, you must remember that a good translator does not stop at providing linguistic meaning, but also takes into consideration the cultural gaps between areas and countries, and gives expression to this in the text. Indeed, serious professional translation is not a simple task, and it involves much forethought and consideration of a wide variety of factors. At the same time, studying and effort undoubtedly result in better and more efficient work, and there’s no reason you won’t be able, with time, to become a professional translator.

 Serious and High-Quality Translation

It’s true that a beginning translator can reasonably deal with simple texts, and transfer their basic meaning from one language to another. However, when dealing with a complex text or one that needs to be of a higher quality, it’s best that you come to Hever Translations for translation services.