A day in the life of a translator - by Margiad Dobson
“Translation is key to developing corporate language schemes as well as empowering communities."
I believe that "develop" is a very good word to use when talking about translation. Not only are you developing your linguistic ability and understanding of the aspects of the Welsh language, but you are also developing as a Welshman or Welsh-woman.
Since starting my first job as a translator almost three years ago, I feel that I have dealt with the Welsh language in many different forms, and have enriched my understanding of the position of the language in Wales.
Translation is not a matter of translating text from one language to another. Like all manufacturing processes there are rules to follow, standards to maintain and editors to please!
By no means do I count myself an experienced translator, but I now feel confident enough to try and translate a variety of work. One of my favourite elements is having the opportunity to translate different types of texts, from posters to articles, policies and some slogans!
Usually, I start the whole process by reading the document in order to understand the tone, context and content of the piece. I try not to stray too far from the original English text, to avoid losing the meaning of the piece, although certain tasks give the translator a degree of freedom to put his, or her, own stamp on the work, from changing a few syntaxes, breaking sentences and changing the language from formal to informal.
I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy these pieces, however, I always get a thrill trying to translate a bulky piece of work that presents a real challenge for the translator. I also like to distinguish between formal and informal language. Regardless of the type of piece to be translated, I always learn something from it, and by following this process of reading, translating and editing, I make sure I maintain consistency and present work of the highest quality.
Another aspect of translation that I enjoy is the opportunity to use dedicated software to support the whole process. Prior to starting my current career, I had not had the opportunity to use translation software, so getting used to using this sort of software on a daily basis was quite a challenge at first. After a few weeks of getting to know the functions and features that MemoQ, the translation software we use in Bla, had to offer, the translation process flowed much easier. Prior to starting my current job, I had never worked in an office-based role, and was quite concerned about having to sit in front of a computer on a daily basis reading and translating. I was worried about getting tired and become insipid of this way of working; On the contrary, as I’m completely immersed in work, the hours fly by, and I haven't been bored or had time to twiddle my thumbs for a second since I started this job nearly three years ago.
This is a very small picture of my experience of translation, and there are many other elements and aspects that can be discussed. I'm really looking forward to developing as a translator, being open to the opportunities that this sector has to offer, and how the Welsh language will develop over the coming years.