What I translate

Translation basics

Translation is the business of converting a text from one language to another while aiming at the highest degree of equivalence. The translator (usually) endeavours to mirror the original text (or source text) as accurately as possible on the level of meaning, genre, content, style, cultural connotations, etc.

In addition, the intentions of the author, and the nature of the intended readership of the translation (or target text), must be taken into account. Translation is rarely a word-for-word process of exchanging words of one language with corresponding words from another. Different translations pose different problems, and each demands an individual approach.

Native speaker translation

I translate from my second language (German) into my native language (English). Like most professional translators I do not translate in the other direction, despite speaking and writing German well. This results in final translations that read as if they were originally written in English.

Computer translation

At the moment and for the foreseeable future computer translation services – although widely available on the Internet (and free) – are of extremely poor quality because computers cannot deal with the complexities of the source and target languages. At best this method of translation can be used to obtain a general idea about the content of a text, but even then the results must be carefully crosschecked for possible inaccuracies.