"premium translation" - seriously?
Aktualisiert: 6. Okt 2020
A presentation about “premium translation” at a recent online conference for translators got me thinking - again - about the current situation of this grossly undervalued and sadly misunderstood profession.
Why do we think that a translation assignment, which involves intensive and detailed consultation with a client regarding the desired results should be labelled and seen as “premium”?
Why is it still not standard approach to involve translation professionals from the start of creating products - and content about a product - such as marketing materials, promotional texts, product descriptions and user manuals?
I know this has been an issue and a unsettling concern for those who strive for excellent results and higher quality for decades.
I say this should be the standard workflow. And it should be valued and paid accordingly - naturally.
AND: we have to stop talking about rates per words or even pages.
The world is globalised, digital, complex, cross-cultural, intricately connected, multilingual, interdisciplinary, changes constantly and that is why creating professional content in several languages cannot be broken down into robotic, word-for-word actions – there is sooo much more to it – no true language professional translates "per word".
An authentic and serious translator bundles a myriad of skills and competences in their complex process: highly developed lingustic skills, text competence, cultural competence, context awareness, a sense of style, empathy and emotional intelligence - yes, that`s right! And just to mention one more of the MANY, MANY MORE: design skills - aesthetics are key!
In order to ensure consistent and clear terminology and understanding for the background - be it technical, legal or business knowledge - any translation, no matter how experienced the translator may be - requires research and nowadays more than ever: fact checking!
That requires time. For anyone, in any situation. Remember: every text is different.
SO: stop accepting and thereby promoting rates per word and have a thorough look at the assignment and an in-depth, honest and transparent discussion with all relevant stakeholders.
Stop saving time where it is most necessary to invest it. That is how you achieve excellent results. No, that is not "premium" - it is professional.