Written translation services are hugely popular in the 21st century as borders become less important. One in two entrepreneurs has international partners. One in three young people actively travels, immersing themselves in foreign language environments. And then there are the influencers who regularly sign contracts with global brands. The only barrier to full communication between people is language. Translators are in-demand specialists, but few people are capable of providing their professional services. What difficulties do translators face and how can customers find the right expert?
Written translation: types, subtleties, and nuances
Interpretation and translation are two fundamentally different services that require different skills and training. In short, an interpreter must have perfect mastery of the relevant language, grasp information quickly, tolerate stress well, and be diplomatic. The key requirements for a translator are discussed in detail later in this article.
Written translations differ from one another by their completeness, style, and accuracy. That means that each type of text requires a separate approach.
Literary translations must capture the author’s mood and convey the atmosphere of the book, story, or fairy tale. In technical translations, accuracy is paramount. Industry-specific translations (legal, economic or medical texts) demand experience and specialized education due to the emphasis on specific terms that must be conveyed with complete fidelity.
Types of written translations:
- Draft translation. This type of translation has no strict requirements. A draft translation is for when the customer wants to know the gist of the text.
- Fair translation. Here the formatting matters too: the translation should not visually resemble rough copy; instead, it should be unified and organic.
- Full translation. Most customers want this type of translation, which could be called “print ready”. It includes an accurate translation of the material, formatting, editing, and proofreading. Such translations are often ordered for subsequent publication in print and other media.
- Abstract. Here an expert extracts only the most essential information from a large text and translates its into the desired language.
- Summary. The name speaks for itself. Here the translator’s task is to become familiar with the material and summarize its meaning.
- Consultation. In this situation, the translator consults with the client online or offline, regarding a translation created by the client.
Rates for written translation services vary depending on the time require to do the work, the language pair, and the complexity.
Difficulties encountered in written translation services for certain topics
All texts can be categorized into 5 main topics: literary, technical, legal, medical, and financial. Rare is the person who can flawlessly handle them all. Each category has its own pitfalls.
Here the main challenge is conveying the mood. Someone who dislikes and is not interested in science fiction will find it difficult to take an interest in adapting a translation of science fiction novels. Or, for example, someone who is not a fan of detective stories, whose plots are often very tangled, will struggle to preserve the intrigue in another language.
Technical translations require industry-specific knowledge and a linguistic education. Even with a perfect command of the target language, someone with a language-related degree will struggle to interpret jargon used in mechanical engineering or the oil industry. Graphs and tables, which are always in abundance, pose additional challenges.
The key task is to convey and adapt legislation, laws, concepts, and other regulatory documents in a way that accounts for the specifics of the legal system of both countries. Legal translations entail some of the highest levels of accountability, since mistakes here invite serious problems, including lawsuits.
Everything is difficult here. First, translators must be proficient in Latin. Second, they need to be able to decipher doctors’ handwriting. Third, they have to understand abbreviations, dosage notation, etc. If money, freedom, and reputation are on the line in legal translations, then a misunderstanding in medical translations could cost someone’s health or life.
Translators who want to tackle projects related to finance and economics must regularly refresh their knowledge of neologisms related to accounting, insurance, and banking. They must also understand the terminology of stock exchanges, etc.
A written translation into Spanish, Chinese, or any other language depends on more than just fluency in the target language: it also requires considerable subject matter expertise.
What are the requirements for a good translator?
It is rare to find a jack or jill of all trades who can translate everything. We recommend focusing on these basic requirements:
- Good style and the ability to coherently express thoughts on paper.
- Grammatical correctness, and an understanding of spelling and punctuation in both the source and target languages.
- Specialized education for working with specific topics.
Benefits of written translation services at Translators Auction
Don’t limit yourself to translators in your city. Modern technology and specialized platforms such as Translators Auction let you work with translation agencies anywhere in the world.
- Only verified companies and freelancers with confirmed identities, positive reviews, portfolios, and experience.
- Speed. Find a translator in just a few clicks. You can also order an urgent translation.
- A wide price range. Choose the bid that best suits your budget.
- Any language pair. Get a written translation from English into Russian or Japanese — or any other combination.
- An automated system for finding the best translator at the lowest cost.
- Free translation of up to 210 words.
Please check our answers to frequently asked questions as well as our helpful recommendations, for example, on how to choose the best translator. We want to be sure you are a satisfied customer. We work 24/7, so you can order a translation right now.