A Look at Best Practices
This article is the first of two on the topic of translation services in Georgia. Whether for the translation of an official document like a passport, that of a website or a contract, knowing where to source good quality translation services in Tbilisi can be tricky if you don’t have a recommendation.
In this first part, we’ll be looking at a pearl: the “Getting it Right Guide: A buyer’s guide to sourcing and using translation services” published by 15 professional associations of translators(1). The guide is now available in 11 languages(2), among which American English as well as English (and those do differ on details reflective of the respective cultures of the United Kingdom and the United States).
This guide will take you way beyond the usual translation blunders posted on social media. We particularly liked the distinction “for publication” and “for information”, the former adding more attention to style and culture-bound clichés than the latter. Even typography conventions vary from language to language. The added cost and proofreading steps of a translation “for publication” may well be worth it if you’re about to publish your company’s website in another language to enter a new market.
The guide reviews the whole process of getting a document translated. Have you really trimmed it so that only relevant sections are translated? Can you use pictures instead of text? Can you provide a glossary of essential terms in the context of your company or line of business?
Considering the publishers, it’s not surprising that “Getting it right” warns you against the risks of using language students or translating software to get it done. Overestimating one’s bilingualism (not a guarantee of written fluency or skill in translation) is also a common pitfall, but rather to proscribe these means, the guide explains the risks you expose yourself to.
“Welcome an inquisitive translator” is yet another piece of advice that translators themselves would sometimes better keep in mind, and if your translator doesn’t ask, tell him: a speech isn’t a website and a sales brochure isn’t a catalog entry. You want a “foreign-language version with maximum impact for that particular audience and medium”(3).
The guide concludes that getting involved is the surest way to make sure you make the most out of your time and money.
(1) Institute of Translation & Interpreting, www.iti.org.uk
American Translators Association, www.atanet.org
Asociación Española de Traductores, Correctores e Intérpretes, www.asetrad.org
Associazione Italiana Traduttori e Interpreti, www.aiti.org
Assoziierte Dolmetscher und Übersetzer in Norddeutschland e.V., www.adue-nord.de
Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V., www.bdue.de
Bandalag þýðenda og túlka, www.thot.is
Japan Translation Federation (JTF), 日本翻訳連盟, www.jtf.jp
Japan Association of Translators (JAT), 日本翻訳者協会, www.jat.org
Союз переводчиков России, www.translators-union.ru
Syndicat national des traducteurs professionels, www.sft.fr
Sintra Sindicato Nacional Dos Tradutores, www.sintra.org.br
Abrates Associação Brasileira de Tradutores, abrates.net.br
Panhellenic Association of Professional Translators, Πανελλήνια Ένωση Επαγγελματιών Μεταφραστών Πτυχιούχων Ιονίου Πανεπιστημίου, http://www.peempip.gr
(2) The guide is available at http://www.iti.org.uk/about-industry/advice-buyers/getting-it-right in 11 languages at the time of writing: French, American English, Brazilian Portuguese, English, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
(3) Page 14 of the American-English guide published in 2012.