Today's quick translation tip is simple and easy in theory, but not always that easy to do in practice.
After you have finished the second draft of your translation, try the following. Read each and every sentence in isolation without consulting the source document and ask yourself these questions:
- Does this sentence sound idiomatic in the target language?
- Would I have written this if it weren't a translation?
- If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board.
After all, the goal of translation is to produce natural-sounding texts in the target language that don't sound like translations. We know that it's a lofty goal, but it is possible to get there, especially if you use this approach and have ample time to think about it. That's just another reason we don't enjoy rush projects. It's always better to have more time to ponder each sentence, and we definitely think there's a direct correlation between the time allowed and the quality of the translations. What do you think, dear fellow linguists? We would love to hear your thoughts.