The translation is the area of work that is quite demanded and popular at the same time today. Just as many businesses opt for using the translation services when going international, a lot of people seem to get the liking of the profession. Either they work as freelancers or choose to work for the translation company, they are rarely left without work, regardless of the translation pairing, time of the year, or the form of work.
Yet, just like with many other professions, the success of translation work largely relates to the proper organization of all related processes. While it’s always up to freelancers to organize their work, some companies prefer a clearly set algorithm that will bring more efficient results within a reasonable timeframe. Whether you would like to optimize the work at your company or just want some advice for self-management as a translator, the following article is for you.
More than often, the organization is the key, and in case of business, it is always the key. There is a wide array of organization theories that the companies attempt to adapt, however, it is impossible to find the most efficient one. Every theory or standard has to be adapted to each individual business, and translation companies are not an exception. Dissecting each theory and its possible alteration for the translation sphere, in particular, would be extremely challenging.
In order to have some understating or translation working for processes organization, it is best to dive into some of the practical experiences used by contemporary companies, in order to accumulate a sort of gold standard for both full-time and freelance interpreters to adapt. The following list provides exactly this kind of synthesis, using the accumulated experiences of different translation companies and their views on how the work should be done.
• Reference material. Some of the biggest translation companies do insistently recommend always having all the materials needed for work prepared beforehand. Having your workspace organized means to have it prepared in the first place. So, before you start working on the translation, make sure that all glossaries and dictionaries you use are within your view so that you wouldn’t have to distract yourself and search for them when they are needed. Having your workspace organized will not take any unnecessary time for searching and other things that can and should be avoided. Preparing will also allow you to not lose your concentration on the work. As you might go searching for that glossary, you will most certainly become distracted and may even lose the thread of your work as you come back. That will, again, take some additional time from you and put you under a lot of stress.
• Have a plan. Just like bigger translation businesses strategize their work, you must create a strategy for yours. Think about which parts you will have to translate first, which parts will be harder to get done, and which ones can be done in a matter of minutes. Don’t forget about the context, proper names, and cultural differences. Some languages might not contain certain words that are common in another, some languages have translatable proper nouns, while others don’t, and so on. Companies providing professional language translation services also recommend envisioning the target audience of your translation and the exact needs of your customers before you start. All of that will help you focus on what you have to produce in the end.
• Highlight the text. After you have your text divided into parts, make sure to highlight where those parts start and end. Don’t ever forget about the words in the text that you might not know. This will allow you to look those words up in your dictionary first, without interrupting the working process later. Certain language pairs might be very challenging, such as Russian to English translation, with the two languages having considerably different grammar and orthographic rules. Remember that today, not only the quality is important, but also how fast you can get your translation done. In case if there are any words you don’t know the meaning of, highlight them with a different color and look them up in the glossary first.
• Investigate proper nouns. In case there are any names within the text, make sure they are spelled correctly in the original, look up those people, cities, and other geographical locations, for instance. Certain languages do not have any specific rules about translating the proper nouns into another language. In some cases, the spelling can be different from the original and even from the pronunciation of the original word. Some languages, like Hebrew or Arabic, have totally different calligraphy and orthography from English or Spanish, for instance, hence transferring certain proper names may become harder than you think.
• Prioritize context. Make sure that you translate in the way that gives you the context of your translation first. Translate simpler, more generic parts that can give you a better understanding of what your work is all about. That will allow you to get to more difficult parts with unknown words or the parts that appear unclear. Having the context with you will certainly help to overcome such parts and not get stuck on complex words within the text or its part. Don’t forget that as you translate further, the context might become clearer to you, so you might need to return back to re-translate certain words in order for them to make more sense in the updated context. Yet, that should be done upon the second run as you have the text translated completely one time.
• Order by difficulty. Most of the professional translation companies recommend translating your work by the levels of difficulty you had to define in your planning stage. Depending on which model works better for you, organize your processes in the way that would be the most convenient for you. You can start with easier parts and complete them quicker and then get to the harder parts right away, already knowing what you’re doing and being confident about your work. Alternatively, you may start from harder bits, translate more complex words, proper nouns, or grammatically harder constructions, and save the easier parts for later. In such a case, however, you will probably need to take a break between the parts as well as to review the work, later on, to make sure that those harder parts make sense in the overall context. So, the difficult-to-easy work over should perhaps be applied only in cases when you are completely sure about what you’re doing and that more complex parts will give you more context within the translation overall.
• Never lose focus. Whenever you put your full attention on the text, go on translating until you get a certain portion done. Oftentimes, when you lose focus, you might get certain parts completely wrong as you come back. In most cases, you will probably notice it as you reread your text, yet, you might need to redo the work completely as you do that. To properly focus on your work, concentrate on the context in the first place. Do not use the first translation of a certain term that you use in the glossary if it does not really fit into the context. Investigate the bit in more detail and translate it only after that. Whenever you return to the work from the break, reread the last portion of two or three sentences you have translated to get back to the context. Do not forget about the work organization mentioned in the very first point and follow it throughout the whole process.
Organizing your working process is one of the first steps to success. Having your work properly divided, ordered, done, and reviewed will certainly guarantee you the most desirable results within the shortest time frame. The translation is not the easiest fit and may seem harder than you think at first. Not only requires a vast knowledge of two languages that might radically differ in some cases, but also the dedication and proper self-management. From the recommendations gathered from the best translation companies online, it becomes quite clear why. The organization does not allow you to lose your focus on the subject matter and, hence, produce a high-quality translation and not waste your time doing unnecessary work. Without a proper organization, everything you have worked on may collapse easily.
In case if you have any trouble with self-management, it is highly advisable to start your interpreting career by working as a freelancer on one of the translator platforms on the web. Most of them have blogs and strong communities that will provide lots of great advice and help you to learn how to organize yourself as you work. Don’t forget that some of the best platforms are constantly hiring, so you will never find yourself unemployed for sure. You can check out the Word Point reviews and find that this would be a great place to start. Currently being the top translation platform online, it will give you a fair amount of work, the corresponding amount of compensation, and a tremendous experience.
Henry’s top areas of interest are the modern lifestyle, trends in work and its optimization, education, and travel. Working in those areas himself, he shares some practical advice that you will find useful. Follow Henry at his work and never miss a thing about how to optimize your work, learn, be active, and travel with comfort!
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