Maybe you want to hire a translator but you’re not sure what we offer apart from another language.
I hate to have to break it to you but it’s not the only thing we do.
Translating isn’t just one thing. Of course, you write down the proper words and such but that’s not all. We’re also copywriters, writers, and proofreaders all mixed into one person.
Going from English to French (in my case) is one point. Doing all the background work is another.
The ground work is to go from English to French but on top of this it needs to be proofread to ensure that no errors can be found, or no better word/sentence can be written instead. Don’t think it’s done only once, I go over my translation at least twice and with a few hours apart. It’s better to have a fresh mind so you can come back to it and spot mistakes you didn’t notice before because you already had the text in mind.
This applies to pretty much all things written, actually.
We’re writers because nothing is literal when translating. Most of the time you have to keep the same idea in mind while changing things here and there so it flows better, or conveys your message easier. It’s telling a story and bringing emotions into the game. If your potential customer/client reads your ads/website/whatever and thinks “Man, this is boring.” or “Ok, that’s just chitchat and violins.” chances are, they’re not going to go any further! It’s our job to make them interested and help the selling process.
Don’t assume we do everything though! We might switch it a bit or reorganize some words to make it sound better, but it doesn’t mean we create content from scratch. That’s your job. We’re just here to pretty it up a bit once it’s translated.
It’s also copywriting. If you need to translate a product description or an app description, for example, it’s not just about another language. It’s about selling it! Make it so that even in French or whatever language people can’t wait to buy your product, that just by reading it they want to jump onto the buy/download button. We put a bit of sparkle, glitter, and unicorns in it (or cookies, cookies are better) in order to make it sell, even in another language.
I don’t like to see myself as just one thing.
I’m sure you can run a business, sell a product, but also cook incredible meals, knit beautiful scarfs or craft a shelf out of nothing.
We’re not just this or that and it’s important to recognize it. We all have skills somewhere out of the “professionally recognized” or “diploma certified”.
I wrote multiple fanfictions (yes, you read correctly) and started stories so many times, I’m great with animals, and have an incredible level of English compared to the rest of France. Yet, it’s not always something I put out there.
I should, and so do you!
Back to our main subject here.
As you were able to see, being a translator isn’t just about knowing a language and using it to, well… translate documents.
It’s about knowing what the client wants, or needs, and what the audience would like to hear (read). Keeping the meaning and message of the original document, but switching it a bit so it sounds better or reads easier.
It’s about making your clients/customers want to buy the product/service.
Now, tell me what do you think is the purpose of a translator? What do you think we do? Do you agree with what I wrote?
I would love to hear your opinion on the matter so don’t hesitate to drop a comment down below!
Also feel free to check my other blog post on the difference between an interpreter and a translator. You might learn more than you think.