Dress to impress

Imagine you’re attending an important event such as a conference or you’re meeting a new client for the first time. The chances are you will want to dress appropriately to make sure you create the right impression. Before you leave the house, you’ll probably glance in the mirror once, twice—perhaps more—to make sure you look the part.

The same applies when commissioning a translation: you also want to create the right impression. However, this time there is no mirror. You have to place your trust in a translator.

A good translator is someone who can give you the peace of mind that you are saying the right things, even when you don’t speak the language. It’s someone who can ensure you look authoritative and professional, who can help you gain the respect and trust of your customers and peers.

People talking: Professional Spanish to English translations

Getting it right

Getting It Right is a short booklet published by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. It’s essential reading for clients who want to get the best results from the translation process. It could even help you avoid costly and potentially embarrassing mistakes.

What makes a good translation?

Producing a good translation is about much more than translating words from one language into another. It requires time, patience and a high degree of knowledge, skill and craftsmanship. Most people will know what it’s like to read a bad translation: clunky, unnatural writing that may be hard to follow and, in the worst case, plain incomprehensible (and that’s to say nothing of translations done by machines!). Good translations are much harder to quantify. Perhaps that’s because on many occasions, you won’t even realize it’s a translation your reading.

The translation process

Translation is about much more than just words: it’s about concepts and ideas. It's about how you communicate and deliver your message. My standard process has four main steps: consultation, research, translation and feedback.