Translators often pride themselves that they are translating the work of their clients irrespective of their own values and perceptions. But is it really possible to deliver a translation without taking other values into consideration? Two recent projects I did made me think about how value-free a translation actually can be.
Bridging cultures and conveying messages from one language and culture to another is one of the most important aspects of translation. It is not without reason that translators pride themselves on the important role they have played in making knowledge and culture accessible to a global audience. Yet history shows that some source texts are best not translated, simply because their words are then far more powerful.
While the Bible is not quite as popular nowadays as a few centuries ago it still remains one of the most read books (if not the most read) of the world. In The Netherlands that is no different than elsewhere in the world. In January, Dirk Jan de Kooter defended his doctoral thesis on the origin of the most popular (and one of the oldest) versions of the Holy Book in Dutch. In this blog post I provide a review of his thesis.
In an era where technological advancements are occurring at an exponential pace, professional translators and interpreters need to do something in order to survive, or at least to prepare for the future. During the Tolk-en vertaalcongres, that took place last weekend in Breda, The Netherlands, professionals from inside and outside the industry are focused on embracing the future as a means to survive.
In the sometimes heavily emotional discussion about machine translation, professional translators end up by agreeing that machine translation eventually will take on tasks. They believe that translation engines will take over a tiny amount of work that is now being done by people. But these translators immediately add that there will always be fields and specialisms that cannot be replaced by machines. One of those is literary translations.
But… is that really the case? If robots are even taking over real human tasks like caring, why shouldn’t they replace specific translation tasks as well? In this article I discuss the results of literary translations using a machine.
When working at home as a translator everything revolves around self-discipline and making sure you are productive enough to finish jobs with tight deadlines, sometimes combatting stress, boring jobs and negative feedback. While working as a freelancer, often working from home, certainly has its upsides there are also some lurking dangers. One of the most prominent dangers is that of losing time doing jobs and handling tasks that you otherwise would have done outside office hours, like paying your personal bills or vacuuming the bedroom. Here are three tips that can help you improve your productivity as a translator.