Things to keep in mind while translating a book - Translation workzone
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Things to keep in mind while translating a book

Things to keep in mind while translating a book

Things to keep in mind while translating a book

There can be a number of reasons for a book to be translated into other languages. One of the main reasons could be to reach more people and thus giving an opportunity to all to experience the thoughts of great minds. Let us discuss a few simple things to keep in mind while translating  a book.

  1. Find your readers – It is the most important step to start with. You need to understand who your readers will be. This will help you to understand the cost and the level of professionalism required for the translation job.
  2. Read the source book – In order to translate a book into another language, you need to first understand the style used in the original book. For this, you need to go through the book avidly. This would help you to determine the style you are going to use while doing the translation.
  3. Keeping the theme of the book unchanged – The overall message of the sourcebook should not be changed and it should be clearly understood by the readers. Remember, you can no way change the storyline of the book.
  4. Take care of the tense -You should take care of sentence formations while translating a book as the usage of the wrong tense can ruin the translation and meaning altogether.
  5. Make use of a dictionary – The best practice for all the translation work is to keep a list of words or phrases you can use for this purpose. Keep a dictionary to help you in this.
  6. Be bold enough to use your own words – One problem that most of the translators face is putting all the words from source material to the target language. Understand one thing, languages differ from one another in expressions of thoughts or presenting them. One idea used in source book might have to be put in different words in the translation work to present the same meaning of the sourcebook. So, you should not be afraid to use your own words in the translation.
  7. Use short sentences – Use short and simple sentences, mostly to make the reading easily enjoyable for the readers. A clear understanding of the message presented in the book should be the objective here.
  8. Do not use phrasal verb – Simple translations catch the readers’ attention more than the complicated ones. Uses of phrasal verbs may have more than one meaning and thus complicate translations. So avoid using them.
  9. Learn the technique for translating a word that does not exist in the target language – There are 3 ways to do this.
  • Chunking up – This refers to moving closer to the more acceptable word in the target language
  • Chunking down – This refers to the description of the parts of the object.
  • Lateral Chunking – This means finding a word in the target language which will bring back the word which you have to recall.
  1. Talk to the author or client – The last but not the least is to always consult with the author or the client to make sure that you are heading the right direction. You should not wait till the translation of the whole book. You should consult the author or client after some of your translations are done.

The translation of a book can be tricky, but with the tips mentioned above, you can gain a rich experience of translation.

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