Chickpeas or Garbanzos: Is Your Translated Content Consistent?

Inconsistent translations might easily confuse your audience and muddle your brand message. Here are some things authors and content managers can do to preserve their organization’s voice in translation.

Translation Ethics Case Study: Dating Article

Russian feminist Nastya Krasilnikova recently came across a sexist article in the Russian version of GQ. However, following the link to the American magazine where this article first appeared, Nastya discovered that the author was a woman. It appears that many points in the translation have been changed beyond simple cultural adaptation.

Demand for Russian Outside US-Russia Relations

I am sometimes asked how the interactions between Russia and the US will affect the demand for Russian translation and interpreting. The political climate certainly impacts language services by affecting trade and international cooperation. However, English and Russian are not the exclusive purview of Russia and the US. Here are some areas where Russian is needed independently ofContinue reading “Demand for Russian Outside US-Russia Relations”

Live and Learn: Post-Mortem of #ATA57

This year I went to my second American Translators Association (ATA) conference as a full-time independent translator (there was also that time in 2011). Since my conference review from last year mentioned some things I could improve, I would like to use this post as a follow-up to hold myself accountable for my progress inContinue reading “Live and Learn: Post-Mortem of #ATA57”

Machine Translation Unlikely Substitute For Human Decision-Making

Are we finally on the brink of machine translation catching up to human translators? Recent coverage of neural machine translation (NMT) seems to suggest so. Beyond the justified skepticism about what machine translation (MT) can achieve, this attitude overlooks the choices we make in translations.

Shortcomings of (Untrained) Native Translators

Should translations be done exclusively by native speakers of the target (“into”) language? This question has recently come up in several publications. The language industry and training programs in the US predominantly answer in the affirmative. I have speculated about some possible reasons for this attitude. A recent article in the American Translators Association (ATA)Continue reading “Shortcomings of (Untrained) Native Translators”

Guilty By Association: When Idiomatic Translation Hurts Your Message

One of the benchmarks of a good translation is whether it sounds “natural” or “flows.” An important exception to this rule is when the “natural,” idiomatic expression has negative connotations in that language. Such cases may warrant a departure from the choices made in the original text.