Only Human Translators

An android translation process

An android translation process

I couldn’t have been more pleased with the reaction to my last post a few weeks ago. Lots of people have told me, here on my blog and on social media, that they were delighted someone had started talking about the translation process. Some were even kind enough...
Changing the system

Changing the system

With everything that’s written and said about translation, it’s rather strange that there is so little discussion of the actual process of translation itself. Maybe translators fear that if they reveal their secrets anyone will be able to copy them....
Staying off the high horse

Staying off the high horse

A few weeks ago, a translator raised a question in the Standing Up Facebook group. Quoting precedents from the content writing industry, he asked whether translators could or should have different quality standards for different clients with different budgets. In...
It was 20 years ago…

It was 20 years ago…

At some point during 2021, it will be my 20th anniversary as a translator. I only wish I could be more specific, but I can’t honestly remember when I did my first translation or who the client was. All I can say with any degree of certainty was that it is...
A question of balance

A question of balance

Every translation requires it: the essential balance between the two basic impulses governing our profession, and probably many other lines of work. On one hand there is the urge to do the best possible job – the perfectionist desire to check everything and make...
Counting the hours

Counting the hours

I’m sure I’m not alone among translators in hating invoicing. And what I hate even more than invoicing is that day after I send all my bills out, because it’s then that the queries start. “The total’s not right in this one.”...
Not being an arse

Not being an arse

A few weeks ago, there was a post in a translators’ Facebook group that appalled me. A woman translator described how she was telephoned by a supposed colleague with what was apparently a job offer only for the conversation to deteriorate into him making...
Translating pictures

Translating pictures

Many types of translation can be automated nowadays, with varying degrees of success. But there are still areas where the machines will always have their work cut out to compete with human beings. I was reminded of this in a job I was doing last week that also made me...
Getting into print

Getting into print

One of the few positive things that’s happened to me in this truly appalling year of 2020 is that I’ve become a published author for the first time. So apologies to those of you who don’t like to hear the sound of someone blowing their own trumpet,...
Perception is the key

Perception is the key

There is nothing like the COVID-19 crisis to teach us how important perception is. Of any group of people in the same place, at the same time, governed by the same rules, you will find some who are ultra cautious, going out as little as possible, always wearing a face...