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Multiple translators and the translation process: to quote the Beatles, “Let It Be”

Posted 5 years 75 days ago ago by Annette Labbé     0 Comments

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When I first started out in translation, I had a lot to learn. One of the most difficult things for me was the concept of “project collaboration”. I honestly thought that if I was organized enough, I wouldn’t have to work with other translators to get my projects done. I was wrong. Sometimes there simply isn’t enough time.

I knew when I started my business that time would be an issue. I knew that I would be working on short notice and that clients would change content often because a written product isn’t final until the end stages of a project. Sometimes the “end stage of a project” is hours before printing. That’s just how it is. Collaboration in the translation process is sometimes very necessary.  What I came to understand is that all of the things that made the idea of “translation collaboration” difficult for me stemmed from how I was looking at.

My major problem with working with other translators was the fact that if you collaborate on a project, it often looks that way. Everyone has a different writing style and it’s evident when you look at something multiple people have worked on. I was so focused on seamless uniformity that I wasn’t fully appreciating the artistry of multiple translations within a single work. There were other issues I had with letting other translators in on a project I was working on:  differences of opinion when it came to the actual translation, differences with regard to work habits, etc. I had to learn to let go of what I thought the translation process should be like and just let it be what is was.

The more I write these blogs, the more I realize just how human everything about translation is. It’s what I love about it, but it’s also what makes it difficult. All in all, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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