Translating involves understanding the meaning of a text in one language (known as the source text, ST) and conveying it faithfully and effectively as a second text in a different language (known as target text, TT).
Mastering one or more foreign languages is not enough to be able to translate professionally. Translating does not involve merely replacing one word with another. Instead, it requires specific knowledge, skills and attitudes to be completed efficiently and with adequate quality.
Translators are in charge of ensuring the following:
- Accepting the translation project only if they have proven knowledge in the required field.
- The specific requirements of the translation project are known (recipient, register, terminology preferences of the client, etc.).
- The reference material (glossaries, previous translations, websites, images, translation memories, etc.) is respected and substantiated alternatives are presented if any deficiencies of any kind are detected in this material.
- The same concepts and values of the ST are reflected in the translation.
- The concepts of the ST are closely mirrored in the translation using correct and natural language.
- The creativity, register and tone of the ST author are maintained in the translation.
- Specialised terminology is suitably handled and the most appropriate terms are chosen to reflect the values of the ST.
- Homogenous terminology is used throughout the TT.
- Extending their knowledge and research in websites, parallel texts and any applicable source whenever terminology doubts are encountered.
- Any mistake, ambiguity or inconsistency that may be detected in the ST is transmitted to the Project Manager.
- The possible corrections or recommendations suggested by the Client are completed.
- Hidden text elements are translated.
- Figures, dates (in writing or with numbers), names, etc., are accurately transcribed in the TT.
- Decimal points are correctly spelt in the target language.
- The abbreviations and acronyms are as used in the target country.
- Units of measurement, dates, telephone numbers, addresses, currencies, etc., are localized.
- The official designation of States and institutions in the target language is respected.
- A correspondence is established between the titles and subtitles of the various chapters with the table of contents.
- Punctuation marks are correctly applied, in accordance with the rules of the target language.
- The format of the ST (same font type and size, line spacing, bold, italics, small capitals, underlining, paragraph breaks, bullet points, etc.) is respected.
- The whole text of the translation, including the text within tables and figures, is selected and the spell check of the word processor is run.
- The whole text of the translation, including the text within tables and figures, is selected and a check for double spaces is run.
- Before the text is handed in, the translation is compared with the ST so as to detect any changes in meaning and terminology mistakes or omissions and to verify that the work is an accurate and complete reproduction of the ST.