Happy 2015 from Alltradis! A new year marks the beginning of a new start, a chance to set new goals, achieve new dreams and try something you’ve never done before. For Alltradis, the new year brings in a new intern, namely me.
Hello! My name is Yuejia and I am very excited to start my internship at Alltradis.
For 2015, I wanted to challenge myself to embark on a new journey, which is how I found myself leaving my home in Toronto, Canada and relocating to a beautiful city in the South of France. For 2015, my goal is to become trilingual. I think I can cross English off my list, so all that’s left is French and Mandarin. Being of Chinese decent, it pains me to say that I am not fluent in my mother tongue, thus making it difficult to communicate with many of my family members who do not speak English.
In my opinion, language is the most vital method of communication we have. When used correctly, it can illicit emotions, trigger memories and inspire millions. Which is why here at Alltradis, we translate each text, word and syntax to ensure that we preserve the integrity of the original document.
I’m concluding my four-month internship at Alltradis in a few days’ time.
Unlike Alltradis’ previous interns, I’m not a translator, nor am I aspiring to be one. I’m a communication major. Upon graduation, I’m going to be blogging, tweeting, and writing press releases and news stories. In fact, I will probably never translate a piece of text professionally, and I’m fine with that. College majors aside, this internship has still been an invaluable experience for me as a communicator and storyteller.
During my internship, I did a lot of research on translation, interpretation, and languages. I curated and shared the most interesting, unusual, and useful facts and figures about languages and the translation industry. Taking a deeper look into the impact of translation, and the changing landscape of the translation industry made me a better communicator. Here are some lessons I’m taking away with me:
Write a clear, concise, compelling source text
It seems stupidly obvious, but the formula for excellent translation is simple. In the end, it comes down to a well-written source text and an experienced and culturally-sensitive translator. As I writer, I rarely think about how my writing will look once translated. However, knowing in the back of my mind that my writing is going to be translated makes me think twice about my choices. I find myself asking “Is this a clear metaphor? Is this the perfect word?” All these extra thoughts make me a more mindful communicator.
Decide on what service is best for the project
Like most people, I used to think the translation was made up only of two services: translation (of the written word), and interpretation (of the spoken word). While this is the foundation of translation, knowing all the available language services is incredibly helpful. Services like transcreation and localization is foreign to many writers. However, knowing the pros, the cons, and the process of these services can be incredibly useful for some projects, not to mention, save a lot of money and headaches.
Talk to the translator
Personally, I believe that you should trust your translator and your work to be as compelling and clear in the new language, just as it is in the source language. But depending on how important the project or intricate the writing, it may be beneficial or necessary to speak with the translator. Especially when working with a new translator or translation agency, it might be necessary to explain to them the specific linguistic choices you made, and the tone you are aiming for. In the end, your translator holds the pen (or the mic) to your voice in a new language!
Even as a non-translator, I’m taking away many valuable lessons from this internship, biggest being the ability to see the interconnectivity of language. Whether as a writer, translator, publisher, or a marketer, knowing how a piece of text will work in another language and culture is an important skill to have. Communication goes far beyond words. Understanding this will undoutably create more thoughtful and culture-concious communicators.
Thanks for reading my posts for the last four months!