Updated: Sep 28, 2021
With easy access to free machine translation today, “What is the value of professional translation?” you may ask. Well, this brings us firstly to the question of – What is Professional Translation?
Broadly speaking, there are six aspects to professional translation.
1. Language Proficiency
In a country like Singapore, many people are bilingual. But being bilingual doesn’t mean one can actually translate between them.
A professional translator needs to have a high level of proficiency in both working languages to produce translation that is accurate, fluent and faithful.
Many translation agencies have chosen to work with native or near-native translators in each language pair. What this means is that if the project requires translation into Traditional Chinese for the Hong Kong market, a native Taiwanese translator wouldn’t be assigned the job because the language variants are significantly different.
Professional translation is done by those with domain knowledge or experience in the subject matter.
For example, if a document contains agriculture content, the translator assigned to the job will be one with a background in agriculture, not one who’s specialised in, say, legal translation.
Translation agencies work with a network of trusted translators covering a range of different topics. Projects are matched to those with the right background and expertise.
3. Quality Control
There are different stages in a translation process.
A basic workflow includes translation from source to target language, followed by proofreading by a second translator, who will compare the source and target text to pick up areas that were overlooked during translation before delivery to the client.
4. Research and Glossaries
Professional translators are investigators. We spend a huge chunk of our time researching on terms and technical information.
Some agencies also help clients manage their terminology. Because there is no one fixed way of translating anything. You can send the same piece of text to five different translators and you’ll get five different sets of translation back. To keep translation and branding consistent, some clients maintain their own glossary or terminology bank so that terms are translated in a consistent manner.
5. Software and Tools
All craftsmen need their tools, and it is no different for translators. Professional translators invest in software and tools to deliver files in the formats required by their clients.
Translators work with CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools like Trados and MemoQ to handle large volume projects with multiple files, as well as subtitling or transcription software to handle audio and video files.
6. Ethics and Confidentiality
This is the moral code of any business.
Professional translation agencies have confidentiality practices put in place, like the signing of non-disclosure agreements with their translators and the practice of not uploading confidential information to online platforms.
At Wei.Trans.Create, we have also chosen to publish an “Anti-discrimination and anti-hate” statement on our website. This, together with other values that our business stands for, guides us in our decisions and operations. As an ethical business, we have a moral obligation to the world. Because translation is about connecting and not dividing people, creating solutions and not more problems.
So, what does all this mean for you: Why is it important to choose Professional Translation? What is its value to you?
Well, the value to you is you get to RELAX, because you’re getting translation that you can TRUST!
And you can spend your time on other important tasks and FOCUS on what you are good at doing.
Drop us a line if you have any questions!
(Wei.Trans.Create is a professional transcreation agency in Singapore.)