Only Human Translators

The next best thing

The next best thing

As I’ve said before in this blog, I’m not a fan of online conferences and CPD. But if I go to too many like the recent METM21 Online I could be converted. Superbly organised, full of good content and with off-conference events that came close to achieving...
Two translator tribes?

Two translator tribes?

My recent consideration of my translation process and the interesting online discussions that followed got me thinking. Why is it that some translators manage a more or less finished first draft, while others, like me, need a rough version which we then refine again...
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...