Common Issues in Primary Translation

questionBeing a translator for about half a year, starting from a newcomer whom even doesn’t know any translation tools and guide style, now becoming an advanced enhancer to master various translation tools and strictly follow the translation guide style from customers, they are really a great treasure to me. Although acquired a lot of skills and mastered some useful knowledge, but as a green hand, I will make a lot of mistakes and list out these issues below for other newcomers to learn and obtain some inspirations to prevent making similar mistakes.

  1. Tend to use punctuation casually. As a newcomer of translation industry, particularly is not sensitive to the punctuation. Because in the school, as well as worked in other industry and positions, none of your boss or customer would notify this requirement to you. When we first involve into article translation, the full-width punctuation will be mixed up with the half-angle and two different punctuation will be occurred in the translation article. In fact, this is really a big taboo to editor or customers. For overseas customers, they are often not to check whether the quality of the translation work is okay or not, they would only review whether different punctuation existed in the article. If you are unable to maintain a unified punctuation, quite visibly, the quality of the translation article is not qualified. Therefore pay attention to such small detail would have a decisive role to influence customer and the quality of the translation. Keep in mind that never use of punctuation randomly;
  2. While we used translation tool “trados” for word translation, the original file will be compared with the translated version up and down. During translation, when we met some English words which no need translation, in order to facilitate the translation, we tend to copy the words or phrases from the original file. During this process, the copied words or phrases probably be hidden and not be displayed in the translated version. It is proposed to enter the words (1~2) by your own or use the whole sentence copy function in the Trados, thus it could avoid individual words hiding in the translated version.
  3. To us – translator, customer is God, all we need to do is make them satisfied. In the meantime, customer is also our ally, they hope us provided high quality translation version, therefore they are willing to provide help on some queries. If you have any doubts on the source file or any uncertain on the translated file during the translation process, you could contact customer via PM for help. Don't be afraid to lose your face or looked down upon by customer. What customer needed is high quality translation version, and they really worried about those pretended understanding everything and submitted nonsense translation. Because many of our customers only know one language and fully rely on our translation quality as a final judgment. So if you encounter a problem without further query, they probably think you don’t have any problem, any consequences arise from such ignorance will be your responsibility.
  4. Sometimes the translation project is really urgent, meanwhile you are not familiar with the professional material and translate the file per your own subjective judgment. In fact, this kind of method is not desirable. For this type of situation, we should shape into a good habit and to operate in accordance with following steps: Look up in the TM, if no any referential data, select dictionary for help, especially focus on the source language dictionary. Further more, search on the internet and find any possible solutions to solve the problem. Also asking a colleague(including those with higher level than you ) and anyone could give you some guidance or direction. No matter by what means, we should put quality in the 1st place, but not rush for the speed and neglect the quality requirement.

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