Instead of entering into translation directly, translators should make appropriate preparations prior to initiating translation, including asking for the original file, files for reference, glossary, the style guide, etc.
As we typically make translations on the translation tools like Trados 2007, Trados 2011 and memoQ, which have already divided the original file into different translation units, we sometimes fail to figure out the meaning expressed in certain translation unit due to deficiency in context. In this case, we shall not just guess what these translation units are trying to deliver. Instead, we should take the original file for reference and find the corresponding parts of the original file where these translation units are located. We could better understand these translation units by referring to the context.
Files for reference may enable us to have a brief understanding of the product or the company involved in the original file as they can provide us with related background knowledge. As to the glossary, we should follow this strictly instead of producing translation according to our own understanding. This is because the meaning of a word varies with the context and even the same meaning may be expressed in different ways. In order to maintain the consistence of the target text, we should produce the translation strictly in accordance with the glossary.
The style guide also includes points in need of attention during translation. Different literal forms have different expression manner. Projects can mainly be divided into three types in terms of literal forms including liberal arts, science and general field. As to the liberal arts, the type we are mostly involved into is promotional document such as the introduction of hotels, cosmetics and skin care products. In such projects, we should not only produce an accurate translation, but also need to pay great attention to the style of the target text. The words and expression mode used in the target text should well describe the features of these products so as to be able to trigger the purchase. Therefore, epexegesis is sometimes a necessity in this kind of project. However, this is not the case with projects related with science. Accuracy is the first priority in these kinds of projects. Just produce the translation completely based on the original text without using any extra attribute. By referring to the style guide, we could clearly understand which kind of expression manner should be used in the target text.
We should not omit these steps before entering into translation. Otherwise, it may result in retranslation or dissatisfaction of clients. Consequently, we should not regard these steps as unnecessary and time-wasting. Instead we should perform these steps to produce a translation more conforming with the requirement of the clients.