Sure, anyone who’s mastered English grammar and vocab can string a few sentences together, but it takes much more than that to write clearly and effectively.
Good writing helps readers to get the information they need, quickly and easily. Good writing helps persuade busy people to read your text and act on it, rather than just binning it. And good writing is a marketable skill and a key selling point for translators and editors.
Listen to “Tales of Brave Ulysses” first on Cream’s 1967 studio album “Disraeli Gears” then on one of their concert recordings; there’s no comparison. That’s the difference that the live environment makes. Similarly, while you can gain a lot from reading blogs and books, there’s no substitute for the immediacy of “live”. What you learn seems somehow fresher and more vivid – to say nothing of all the networking and socialising.
When you’ve invested time and money in developing effective marketing materials, it’d be a waste not to get the most from them.
Your website content, brochures, videos and blog posts could be working hard to make you more money from overseas markets. Why confine yourself to the domestic scene? Companies that can reach foreign customers can bring their products and services to a much bigger audience.
So you have a great product that the overseas market would love, but you’re not getting the sales you deserve?
At least, I assume that second part is true, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. If you already have more customers than you can cope with, all paying a big fat price, then congratulations! Otherwise, the worry and frustration of not selling enough either to the cagey Italian domestic market or to the distant, uncomprehending, seemingly unreachable foreign market will be all too familiar. Continue reading →
Businesspeople commissioning a translation may not always know what they can expect. The best translators can do a really excellent job for you, and you should insist on it. Here are 4 things you should expect from your translator. Continue reading →
It may seem like a good idea to give your product – or even your business – a foreign name or a slogan that uses words from a foreign language. Perhaps that’ll make it seem more exotic in your domestic market and help it resonate better with your target clients overseas. It may well be a great idea.
OK, you have an important text and you need it translated into another language. How do you make sure that you get a great translation, without taking a huge amount of time?
After all, if you’ve paid good money for lawyers to draft a contract, it would be crazy to throw that away with an inaccurate or unclear translation. And if you’ve taken the trouble to produce a beautiful, persuasive brochure, then you don’t want all that work to be wasted with a clumsy, amateurish translation on the cheap. Your reputation is on the line. Continue reading →
Sometimes you may find yourself with a very large text to translate quickly – a major contract, design specification or legal judgment, for example. A big urgent translation with tens of thousands of words to turn around in a couple of days.
As readers of the ITI Bulletin will know, I recently set myself a little CPD exercise that was part back translation, part translation slam. The aim was to learn from others, to help overcome the independent freelancer’s default disconnect, and to ward off any incipient bad habits.
I took an Italian text and translated it; Miriam Hurley translated it independently; Anna George revised my translation (comparing it to the source); and Helen Oclee-Brown reviewed my translation (without the source). But the Italian was itself a translation, by Lucia Pettinati, so I added the English original into the mix, too, as this graphic (hopefully) explains. Continue reading →