The 5 Steps of Professional Human Translation – Isakasnel Consultants.
Translation is simply the process of changing written text created in one language into another language.
Human Translation vs Machine Translation
Human Translation involves real brain power. It involves one or more translators translating text manually. Professional human translation does involve interpretation because its impossible to translate the source document into the target document word for word, as this would change the whole meaning of the source document. Professional translation also involves localization, to adapt the message to local audiences.
Machine Translation (MT) also called Automated Translation is the Instant Transformation of text from one language to another using Artificial Intelligence. A computer software translates text from the source language into the target language without human intervention. This means that the message, meaning and tone would be simply lost during machine translation.
The Process of Professional Human Translation
There is an established language translation process that professional translators follow but most people don’t know about. If this process isn’t followed, which it often isn’t, the translations produced are simply unlikely to be of professional standard.
In preparation for translating each phrase or section of your document, professional translators have to do a simple mental processing exercise as follows:
Isakasnel Consultants presents the following Standard Procedure which a Professional Human Translation must follow:
Step 1: Overview.
The first step is simply to scope out the text to be translated – subject matter, length, style, how technical it is, etc.
The translator will typically read or skim read part of the text to get a feel for the content.
The translator may note key concepts or terminology they will need to research, and decide if preliminary background reading is needed.
Step 2: Preliminary Translation.
In this step the translator will systematically work through the document, translating it in chunks of 5-10 words at a time.
Choosing the appropriate length of individual text segments to deal with is important. Ideally each segment will be a discrete and complete unit of meaning.
Each segment also has to be short enough to retain in short term memory. Anything over about 10 words can be a struggle.
Sentences are frequently longer than this, so will typically need to be split up into shorter units.
Working with segments that are too short or not discrete meaning units tends to produce an unnatural and potentially unclear translation.
On the other hand, working with segments that are too long to easily remember runs the risk of some meaning being missed in the translation.
Step 3: Quality Assurance.
After the first draft is completed, the translator will then methodically work through the translation comparing each chunk of text with the original (source) text.
The primary goal here is to confirm they haven’t missed any content or misinterpreted any meaning.
Most translators will also identify and improve any slightly unnatural or inelegant wording in this step.
Step 4: Presentation for Approval.
The translated draft is presented to the client for feedback and approval.
During this time, the translator puts the translation aside and takes a break.
Ideally this should be for a few hours or overnight.
The idea is purely to clear the mind to ensure a more effective fifth and final step.
Step 5: Refine Translation Wording and Layout.
In the final step the translator re-reads the translation, this time without reference to the source document, looking solely at quality of expression.
The translator will make final edits to further refine and “polish” the translated text.
Since the client’s approval has been secured, the client’s comments are now implemented and the translated content is formatted by a desktop publishing expert who ensures the material matches the layout of the source document.
The translated and formatted document is now ready for submission to the client.