The Translation Cycle
It is very difficult to find a translation that is 20/20. In order to increase accuracy levels, customers should provide translators with 100% of support. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and, more often than not, a misunderstanding of the original may lead to problems in the translated output. One may blame the translator, but, quite often, this is the result of careless reviewed originals. This can be solved to a great degree provided there is an open channel between the translator and the end-customer.

To avoid headaches for the customer and myself, the first thing I do is to analyze the job offer. I never accept a job without knowing its contents first. If I feel I cannot handle it (due to lack of industry knowledge or time constraints), I immediately communicate this to the customer. If I happen to know someone who might be able to handle the job, I put both parties in contact with each other.

When jobs are accepted, I start with a rough translation, i.e., translating the most simple parts and highlighting points that require further analysis. I then prepare a list of queries that are sent to the customer. Once the first draft is ready, I try to put it aside for a couple of hours or for the rest of the day (if possible). Then, with a fresh mind, I do the first revision, working on points that present greater difficulty. If new queries arise, I send them to the customer. After I get their reply, I make the necessary adjustments. As soon as the second draft is ready, I try, once more, not to touch it for the rest of the day.

On the following day, I carry out a careful reading of the translated text, in order to check if it flows naturally, and perform its grammar review and correction. Finally, I carry out a spell check to correct any potential typos. My translations are only sent to the customer after this three-stage revision. I do this on my own, but, for an additional price, a complete independent revision may be carried out by highly competent proofreaders.

Of course, this all depends on the size and nature of the project. Smaller projects may require faster cycles.