Wouldn’t that be convenient; you simply grab an overview of the latest world championships of translation and you have all the results at hand. Unfortunately, it simply doesn’t work like that. You cannot express the performance of translators in seconds, metres, or pounds.
Even so, you do not have to feel lost in your search for the best translator. You can come a long way by simply selecting a translator according to the following three rules.
Rule 1 dictates that, very logically, a translator needs to have a very thorough professional knowledge of two languages. Equally obvious is rule 2, which dictates that a translator must be specialised in the subject within which he is translating. For example, if a translator cannot determine from context whether the word ‘crane’ is referring to a bird or to lifting equipment, then the resulting translation will likely be poor.
Rule 3 is also very obvious, but often overlooked. The misery that can be caused by not following this rule becomes painfully clear in the following example. But first, the rule itself. Rule 3 dictates that a translator should be a native speaker living in his native country and translating to his native language. For example: a Chinese person who lives in China and translates to Chinese.
And while we are in China: recently, the film ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ endured heavy criticism after its premiere in China. Not because of the film itself, but because of its translation. The atmosphere of the film did not come across properly in Chinese according to most visitors, and the puns were lost in translation.
Mike van Rossum, Author – Holland Animatie
F. de Nooij – Danerolles
E. Stoel – Hotel Okura Amsterdam
I. Vianen – Milieudefensie
Richard – MEXX
J. Wakkerman – OLVG
A. Crijns – UMCG
N. Lewis – Lewis+Humphreys
H. de Graaf – Makelaardij Witte
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