I know that many readers are translation students or translation graduates. And this post is for you! You’ll be sitting exams soon, and then there’s the dissertation… I thought that you could do with some motivation to carry on. Maybe even those of the readers who graduated a while back will find some useful ideas here.
Now that the introductions are done, here’s the reason for this post: instinctively we know that if we’ve graduated in translation or have a translation-related education we’re offering something more to our clients. But it’s often very difficult to describe this “more” and use it to convince the clients why they should choose us (and pay more). And honestly speaking, sometimes it’s even hard to understand what the whole translation theory has to do with our professional lives. That’s why I decided to share this collection of benefits linked directly with translation modules covered at universities. The headlines below correspond to the modules that I came across when doing my degree and how I talk about them now with my clients.
Understanding different translation theories helps me grasp the variety of approaches to source and target texts. I can also better understand the expectations translation users had throughout the ages and I can identify which broader cultural trends have impact on your text.
Characteristics of non-literary texts
As a translator, I also study the way texts are written and what makes them achieve specific purposes. It means that I not only know which words and phrases are used in legal texts, but I also understand what makes them be legal. This is very important for your texts, because they have to have the same effect on your readers when translated into another language.
Contrary to the popular belief, translators need much more than just pen, paper and dictionary. Studying translation tools makes me better equipped to do the job for you, and as a result, I can translate better, faster and more consistently.
Translation research project
As a part of my degree, I was asked to look at existing translations and compare them with the original text. I found this exercise very helpful because it made me wonder why certain things have been translated this way and not another and I had to find explanations to these problems. It means that whenever you have any questions regarding your project, I’ll be able to tell you why I translated it like that.
I was also lucky enough to study the basics of intercultural communication. I know the cultural dimensions and main differences between the cultures I translate. It means that your texts are not only correct from the linguistic point of view, but my translation also covers cultural differences.
Of course, I also studied the process of translating, from the first reading, through research, to polishing the final text. It means that I am competent enough to handle your translation because I know what’s involved in producing the final text.
I am aware of different translation problems and I also have the right tools to solve them. It means that if your text contains words of phrases without direct equivalents in the target language, I will be able to use the correct translation procedure to find the best solution.
I hope you now feel more confident talking about what you learnt as part of your translation degree. Think about your education and see if you can turn it into benefits for your clients.