Monday, 4 April 2022

My 10 translation workflow stages

What does it take to create a fit-for-purpose commercial or technical translation? In my previous blog post I described how I revise my translations to make sure they are phrased clearly, read smoothly and don’t include any mistakes or translationese.


In today’s blog post I’m sharing an overview of my complete translation workflow to provide an insight into how I generally work. It usually comprises the following 10 stages:

1) Formatting the file for word processing if it’s not editable


2) Preparing a rough draft of the translation (aka target text) and researching the subject-matter and related terminology


3) Identifying issues in the original text (aka source text) and discussing them with the client before the translation is executed further, OR preparing a translator’s report identifying such issues (and delivering it along with the translation at the end)


4) Preparing a second translation draft by closely comparing the source text against the target text, implementing any necessary changes and improving on the initial rough draft


5) Checking individually that any numbers or reference numerals in the source text have been transferred correctly to the target text


6) Printing off the translation, editing and revising it as an independent piece of writing (away from the source text) using pen and paper, and considering the translation in its entirety


7) Transferring changes made in the previous stage to the translation on the screen


Next, I step away from the translation and revisit it the next day or, ideally, a few days later.


8) Checking the translation against the source text again carefully to ensure it is appropriate in every respect for the client’s specific purpose 


9) Running a spell check


10) Putting finishing touches to the translation and (if required) finalising the translator’s report



To create a professional, fit-for-purpose commercial or technical translation, a number of tasks involving great diligent care need to be completed. In this blog post I provide an insight into my 10 translation workflow stages.