If you need a Turkish English translation and don’t speak the language, you won’t be able to tell if you are getting back an excellent, good, average or unacceptable translation. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some issues regarding translation services.
Don’t spend money on a translation without editing and proofreading
Translation is a highly complex process which requires a high degree of expertise. To be able to evaluate the quality of a translation, you need to understand the inner workings of the translation process.
TEP (translation, editing and proofreading) is widely recognized as the best practice for assuring translation quality. However, many translation agencies offer translation-only services without editing and proofreading. As editing and proofreading may take up as much time as the translation itself, some agencies charge extra for these services. So it’s important to ask the agency what their service includes when you get a price quote.
A typical translation goes through a number of stages:
- Translation is the process of translating text from one language (source) into another one (target).
- Editing refers to changes made to the translated text to correct, improve and/or clarify sentence structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation, word usage, minor structural and stylistic problems. It is important to point out that editing here does not involve major rewriting and reorganizing of the text or major stylistic changes as in publishing.
- Proofreading involves checking the final text for any remaining typographical, punctuation, formatting, spelling or numbering errors that might have gone undetected during the editing process. Proofreading is often performed independently of the source text. There is yet another form of proofreading. This process involves comparing the original document to the translated document in order to verify that there are no content discrepancies between them such as omitted, untranslated or accidentally modified text.
A high quality translation should include editing and proofreading. If not, the quality of the translation will be questionable as no professional translator can produce a good translation without editing and proofreading. If you have to pay for these services separately, the cost of your translation will go up considerably. So always compare apples to apples.
Is the integrity of the original text preserved in the translation?
While all translations attempt to convey the meaning of the source text, there are different styles of translation. Translations are often described as literal or idiomatic. Literal or direct translation attempts to follow the wording, structure and grammar of the source text as closely as possible. Fluency is not as important as fidelity. Idiomatic or free translation seeks to express the meaning of the source language in a natural and communicative way in the target language. Fluency is more important than fidelity.
In reality a good translation is the one that creatively combines both styles to convey the meaning and style of the original in a fluent and communicative way. However, whatever style the translator uses, the translation should remain faithful to the original in terms of meaning and style. Otherwise, you may end up with a translation where there are:
- Omitted sentences because the translator thought that they were redundant or did not make any sense.
- Several sentences combined into one because the translator thought it would be more to the point.
- Long sentences broken into smaller ones because it was difficult and time consuming for the translator to properly translate it.
- Sentences translated with a totally different wording than the original distorting the true meaning of the text.
So you have to make sure that the integrity of the original text is preserved in the final translation at all times.