So what does it take to produce a written translation? What goes into it? Today's production of translation involves a combination of humans and machine. Humans do 90% of work and machines help humans in some aspects of the job. So let's see who does what.
Translation is done by a translator, editor, proofreader and a Quality Assurance specialist. That's 4-5 separate linguists that are involved in the process.
Translator's job is to render a written document from one language into another. Editor's job is to ensure that terminology in the text is correct and the translated text is stylistically sound. A proofreader looks for grammatical mistakes and typos. Quality Assurance specialist's job is to find and eliminate unnecessary double spaces, ensure that dashes, m-dashes and n-dashes are utilized correctly and check an overall layout of the text.
So, where does machine's job come in?
What we use are called CAT Tools, that is Computer Assisted Translation Tools. It's not a machine translation as Google Translate for example. CAT Tools are Translation Memory, TM for short. The way it works is you open a document in a special program and start translating. TM will store that translation. Next time when you translate a very similar document, and you run into the same phrase as in previous document you've already translated, TM will alert you that a translation for such sentence already exists.
CAT Tools are particularly helpful to keep all current translations consistent with the previous ones. Which is very important. Let's take a word WARNING as an example. There are number of terms that can be used for it in French: it could be AVERTISSEMENT or MISE EN GARDE. Both terms are correct but once the translator choses which one to use, it should be used consistently throughout the text and CAT Tools help to keep terminology precise from page to page, document to document.
More on it later. Blogging is fun but the work is piling up and I have to get cracking before I get buried. Do stay tuned!
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