About Translation

What Does My Job Involve?

In its simplest form, my role as a translator is to convey written text from one language to another.

Anyone could do my job with Google Translate, couldn’t they?

Not quite.

The translation of a text is always dependent on the context in which it is written.

What is its purpose? Who is the intended audience of the text?

The answers to these questions are key when considering aspects such as word choice, level of formality, tense usage and sometimes even practical considerations like document layout.

Medical terms with Latin roots are easy to translate into English, aren’t they?

Well, that is a bit of a misconception.

Specialising in medical translation definitely brings with it increased complexity.

It can be dangerous to translate a Latin-based term into its similar-sounding English counterpart. A mistranslation could have potentially serious consequences, so this greater complexity brings with it greater responsibility.

Thorough research is a key part of translating any medical document, whether that entails consulting a medical dictionary or reliable website, or asking another expert translator in the field on a specialist forum. There will always been a problematic abbreviation to work out or difficult-to-decipher handwriting.

There is always a deadline to meet, too, so work must not only be efficient, but also careful and considered. And I never, ever skip the proofreading stage before delivery. My eye for detail means that I am able to spot any errors or inconsistencies when it matters most.

What Does Your Job Involve?

Communication and collaboration are key parts of turning a good translation into a great translation. Outlining any project-specific requirements at the outset makes for a better working relationship. The use of dedicated glossaries ensures consistent use of terminology.

Working closely with a knowledgeable and diligent translator who can consistently deliver projects on time makes all the difference, and it makes for a long and happy partnership!