07 Jul What is the translation process?
Human translation service is basically the science of accurately altering the sense of words or texts from one (source) language to another (target/new) language but retaining the same meaning in the process by humans.
For any text to be effectively translated from one language to another, it has to be read and understood, its meaning has to be retained throughout the process, the appropriate vocabulary has to be selected, all the grammar rules of the target language has to be followed to the letter, the meaning of the text has to be properly expressed in the target language, and as natural wording as possible has also to be used.
THE TRANSLATION PROCESS
The entire human translation service is typically carried out in six main stages, outlined below:
Step #1. Overview
In this step, the translator basically scopes out the context of the source material to be translated. This entails reading or skimming parts or the whole of the article to be translated in order to get a general feel of the content and to identify such pertinent issues as subject matter, content length, the writing style, how technical the writing is, key concepts, and terminologies. The translator also checks the source document for any typos, missing texts, inconsistencies, and grammatical errors or any other issues that may require clarification from the client. It is at this stage also that the project timeline, costs, and final date of delivery are determined.
Step #2. Initial Translation
The document to be translated is split into smaller chunks typically by use of a computer-aided tool such Trados or Wordfast. The professional human translator then translates (alters the meaning and sense of) the document from the source to the target language one sentence at a time. Upon the conclusion of this step, the translated document (technically called, draft translation), along with the source document is returned to the project manager.
Step #3. Accuracy Check
The draft translation is compared to the original document chunk by chunk by the project manager at this stage in order to confirm whether any content has been missed and that no meaning has been misinterpreted. Improvements to any slightly unnatural or inelegant wording are also made at this stage. The translator also ensures that the translated piece makes perfect sense and also fits naturally with the rest of the original document.
Step #4. Quality Controls or Proof Reading
In this stage, the translated document is re-read to ascertain that its layout matches that of the source language document, the correct fonts have been used, all the headers and the footers are consistent with those of the source language document, names are spelled correctly, pagination matches those of the source document, the text flows correctly, all the source language updates have been incorporated, and that the margins, graphics, and positioning are all correct.
Step #5. Client Review
The draft translation is then submitted to the client at this stage. The client reads it, and points out any errors, inconsistencies, or suggests any further alterations he may wish to be incorporated in the final document. He then returns the draft translation to the project manager with those suggestions.
Step #6. Final Polishing
At this stage, all the concerns and suggestions of the client are incorporated. Also, any errors or other issues that were identified by the client are also solved/dealt with. This culminates in the production of a final perfect document.
Given the very intriguing and potentially challenging nature of the process of translating documents, it is a task that is best delegated to a qualified, competent, experienced, and preferably online translation company. Moreover, the process should not be carried out in a hurry as such a move may compromise the quality of the final document.
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