Many people believe that translating is an easy task: all you have to do is replace each word with its equivalent in the target language. Piece of cake, right? Wrong. Otherwise a translator is a mere walking bilingual dictionary, and who needs a translator then?
The translation process is a mental exercise that involves 2 major steps:
- Transferring data from a source language into a target language with what that involves in terms of grammar, style and cultural equivalents.
- Analyzing the text and conducting extensive research of the subject matter, including asking for the help of specialists.
That said, news articles are the kinds of texts that people mistakenly think are some of the easiest to translate because they present facts and communicate information. However, as a news editor myself and having been working on a daily basis for over five years now with journalistic translators who translate stories I have personally edited – and a lot of times almost rewrote from scratch – I can vouch that it takes a special kind of translator to be a good journalistic one.
While one doesn’t necessarily need to be a journalist to be able to do a good job, you will certainly feel the difference between a news article translated by a journalist and one that was not. For one, a journalist knows how important it is to keep sentences short and concise. Secondly, s/he is culturally fluent and can adapt the translation to a new cultural context. A journalist is also usually an expert in the beat s/he covers, which makes his or her skills, including translation speed, even the more valuable.
With over 10 years of translation experience and more than five in journalism, the unique combination of both fields that I bring can be seen through the fact that my translations follow journalistic textual conventions and are adequately adapted to a new linguistic and cultural context.
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Are you a news agency or a start-up magazine looking for Arabic<>English translators? I am here to help.