Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Translation: The Truth...

These are some of the useful things you learn in translator school:

- Maintain consistency of register
- Always, always reference the European Commission Style Guide (even if you didn't use it)
- Have at your disposal a little drop-down menu of At Least Four synonyms for each noun, expression or adjective, from which you can then select the most appropriate
- Specialise in Finance, for this (logically) is where the money lies
- Buy a Thesaurus and always carry a copy of The Economist and/or The Financial Times (even if you don't read them)
- Start bullet points with a capital letter and Never punctuate them, [!]
- Develop a habit of talking very slowly in order to choose the most appropriate expression

And here are the things they don't tell you:

- You will become intimately acquainted with the mysterious wiles of Microsoft Word.
- Translation software is NOT your friend
- You will spend more time jiggling text boxes and re-formatting images than actually translating
- Your fingers will acquire a muscular memory for typing the phrases 'In terms of' and 'With regard to'
- You will stay up late working to deadlines, but you will never be as glamorous as the journalists
- You will end up proofreading Everything written in English by a foreign person, from a friend of a friend's CV to the neighbour's kid's homework, but you won't quite have got it right
- Everyone in the world will assume they can do your job better than you.

Rant over. Hols tomorrow.

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