Because translating also means playing with words,
let's discover an exciting job.
Word for word
Translations are based on words, but a perfect translation should go beyond them, play with them, meet the correct amount of words while at the same time remaining commited to the thought of the author (who is not always a writer)… what a broad topic! If the texts could be literally translated from the various languages, the job of translator will no longer exist, what a pity!
Each technical translator is specialized in several fields in order to provide his/her customers with the most accurate possible texts in the target language.
There are as many specialities as jobs. This argues in favour of the right choice of your translator depending on his/her degrees of course, but also on his/her professional and personal experience. My intention on this page is to give you a quick overview of some specializations for a better understanding. It will be updated on a regular basis so don't forget to visit it from time to time to be informed promptly.
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Last update on the 14th of November 2016
"A horse without a rider is still a horse, but a rider without a horse is only a human". Every rider is used to this expression and it is a lesson in humility, but can everyone understand it? I am not sure, but I think it is necessary to understand horses very well to be able to translate in the field.
It is important because the vocabulary is specific and a simple bilingual glossary is not enough to find the correct word to use, but also because horses live in their own world that only their fans can understand. For example the correct translation for “stable” into French is “écurie” and not “étable”. It looks like a detail but unfortunately this mistake is currently made.
It is therefore better to discover this incredible equine universe before starting reading and translating texts referring to the subject, if you don't want to miss the point.
IT is a huge and regularly updated environment. Therefore translating documents in that field requires a lot of practice and to be kept informed on evolutions on a day-to-day basis. The close partnership with the customer is also necessary in order to meet his/her needs. For example the majority of the IT terms comes from the English language and most of the time there is no translation available in French. The translator needs to find a solution together with the customer in order to decide between keeping the English word, translating it or frenchifing it. Of course the translator has to propose his/her version, but as the IT language is quite dynamic, the feeling and the reactions of the customer are very important.
A good IT translator must be able to rely on a strong professional background, in best cases with a job experience in one of the major company in the international area of new technologies. Without this background, it is difficult to know the specific terminology, the “jargon”, and especially all the complexities that are necessary for a perfect software localization.
An IT translation project has to be managed in an extremely rigorous way to achieve the best quality, whether it concerns a software, a website, a Smartphone App, an user manual, a network interface or an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planing).
You should also not forget the cultural references as they are essential for an excellent localization. Therefore, the knowlegde of the final country of the translation is fundamental.
Marketing texts, campaigns, reports, plans and other materials are written by experts working in marketing, sales or communication departments for specialized companies or agencies. Accordingly, translations in that field must be done by specialists, if you want to satisfy your customers and partners, to carry out your promotional campaings or to raise expectations and finally boost your business.
A reliable translation with a real value requires translators who are familiar with the markets, the products, the target customers and their needs, the competitors, the partners…
A detailed knowledge of the global marketing plan with individual care by a trained and experienced expert in that field is the key to success in your communication, advertising campaign and business strategy.
Translated marketing and sales documents must have the same impact in the target language as in the source language. Therefore, the translator must have cultural and linguistic knowledge to ensure the provided translations perfectly match the target group.
Financial translations are a real speciality with a lot at stake. They are necessary for many companies which have legal obligations to communicate in several languages.
Whether it is a yearly, quarterly, half-yearly or an audit report, a balance sheet, an income statement or a profit and loss account, a financial statement and a financial report, information documents, investor information documents, publications on investment funds (prospectus, KIID, comments, reporting…), short press releases about stock exchange or financial analysis, the translator must master the terminology and have a perfect knowledge and a good expertise in the financial field.
The texts that need to be translated are very sharp and must be handled effectively to have the same impact with business partners, employees and shareholders in the source language as in the target language.
That field is also constantly evolving and therefore the translator must have an extensive business and new standard and practice knowledge.
A solid understanding of the texts to be translated is crucial. A strong financial background and many years of experience are therefore needed to achieve great financial translations.
Unless all of the above prerequisites for translating are satisfied, the quality won't be good enough.
Improvising in such specific field is not possible.
Translations for the tourism industry require a strong cultural and marketing knowledge, besides of course the professional experience in the field. The translator must be familiar with the destination, but also with the culture of the country targeted by the translation in order to effectively attract the travellers.
Translations in the field of tourism differ from travel guides to brochures for an hotel or an accommodation service (cottage, bed and breakfast, camping, cruise…), dedicated websites or online booking websites, travel agencies brochures, food and wine guides, texts for carriers (by air, water, sea or rail), etc…
The trends vary from year to year, therefore the translator must be able to follow the market and be informed about the new popular areas such as sustainable and equitable tourism, eco-tourism and business tourism.
Recreational activities are also closely linked to the tourism industry and the translator must have a perfect knowledge of the services offered to the travellers in order to write down eye-catching texts about tourism, presentations of travel destinations and tourism related websites.
Here again, in that particular field, the translator has the leading role and the quality of the translation is crucial for professionals who cannot afford to miss a season just because of a translation which was not attractive enough for the traveller, in other words a potential customer.