I translate from German into English. For me the skill of translation is maintaining the sense and purpose of the original text which requires a high level of expertise and linguistic competence as well as the ability to work accurately and creatively. A quality translation must consider the target audience, reflect the style and register of the source text and take into account cultural differences. It must read as if it had never originally been written in another language. I aim to translate around 2,500 words a day which is about 250 lines or eight pages. Translations are generally delivered via e-mail. Express rates may apply for documents that need to be worked on outside normal office hours. Delivery times and express rates are agreed when the order is confirmed. Translations are charged by 1,000 words of target text or by the line, with a standard line equalling 55 characters (including spaces). Please note that all client data and documents are kept secure and confidential throughout the entire translation process, and will not be disclosed to third parties without your consent. I am happy to sign non-disclosure agreements if required.
I am a trained conference interpreter – I interpret consecutively (giving back a speech made in German into English) or simultaneously (simultaneous translation of the speech normally in a booth into English), whispered interpreting which is used in court proceedings or liaison interpreting (into both German and English) which is often used at business meetings or less formal meetings.
Proofreading and localisation
Proofreading is a very important stage in the translation process or any written material because it serves as an additional safety net to avoid costly misunderstandings or potentially embarrassing mistakes. Essentially proofreading involves:
- correcting punctuation, spelling and grammar and, in the case of translated text, checking the accuracy of the translation against the source text.
- it may also extend to substantial re-writing to improve consistency, clarity and coherence, editing or, in the case of translation, localisation (the process of translating a product into different languages or adapting a language for a specific country or region).
- vocabulary (e.g. sidewalk vs. pavement) and spelling (e.g. aluminum vs. aluminium)
- grammar (e.g. did you arrive yet? vs. have you arrived yet?)
- punctuation (e.g. red, blue, and green vs. red, blue and green)
- some potentially confusing differences in the date format as (01/09/10 means 9 January in one and 1 September in the other)
- support to German speakers doing business with British companies by offering interpreting and cultural advice or relocation support.
- support to British companies wanting to embark on doing business with German-speaking companies.
- despite greater commercial cooperation, cultural differences, however subtle, still exist and have the potential to make or break otherwise profitable relationships – we overlook such cultural pitfalls at our peril.
- taking the trouble to inform ourselves in advance about a different country’s business etiquette, in this case the German-speaking area, is as important as getting the figures sorted.
- it demonstrates to your prospective customer that you have gone at least halfway to meeting them. Even making an effort to learn at least a few words in the foreign language can create a favourable psychological impression and can pave the way to clinching the deal.
In my case, I help with localisation of product marketing literature specifically for the UK market as I can draw on many years of experience writing marketing material for the UK market. German-speaking companies wishing to market their goods into the UK may find this service useful to avoid faux amis or inappropriate or less effective expressions in marketing communications. I can also help you prepare for business meetings or indeed offer interpreting support to eliminate faux pas or gaffes.
US to UK English localisation
Similarly, there are an abundance of differences between spoken and written English in the UK and the USA. It is essential to have the correct usage for the target audience lest they feel alienated. The differences between US English and UK English range from:
If you have existing US documents which you would like to convert for use in the UK, I can review and localise these for the UK market.
Cultural awareness coaching / support with relocation for German-speaking nationals in the UK or for UK businesses trading with Germany.
My aim is to help businesses or individuals overcome cultural, linguistic and economic barriers which they may encounter when doing business with another company. In my case I can offer:
Why is this important?
I can help you develop your approach through language and business etiquette coaching to help you acquire the linguistic skills or cultural awareness necessary to successfully export to and/or import from German-speaking Europe. This is necessary because:
Sally McPhail at the National Gallery,
The Mound, Edinburgh.