Style matters!

Louise is one of our language PMs – as part of her CPD we recently sent her over to Dublin, to a style workshop run by the ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) featuring 2 top translators. As she already knew, and the workshop reinforced, there’s much more to good translation than translation alone – Louise picks up the story…

As linguists it’s essential that we continue to develop our language skills, so when the ITI advertised a workshop focusing on improving writing style I decided this was an opportunity not to be missed.

The workshop was in Dublin and hosted by Ros Schwartz and Chris Durban, two translators whose workshops are always very well received. On arrival participants had a chance to get to know each other over coffee and biscuits before getting stuck into the course itself. Ros and Chris each gave presentations on the day, both of which were extremely useful offering hints and tips such as ways to approach potential new clients and how to prove it’s worth clients spending that little extra to ensure a quality translation.

The day focused on improving writing style and the ways translations can become more than just a copy of the original source text. The message that translations should be as good as, if not even better than, the original was repeated throughout the day and simple ways for improving translations were discussed.

During the workshop we worked in groups to review translations without sight of the source text to see whether we could improve the flow of the translation through simple techniques, such as making text more concise and to the point and adding explanation for things that, while self-evident to the author, may not have been immediately obvious to the target audience. Approaches such as these made the text read more naturally and organically, and less obviously translated.

Once each group had attempted their own improvements to the translations the new versions were read out and discussed by all at the workshop. This provided a great platform on which people could share their ideas and their processes for ensuring they produce good, solid translations.

The workshops are also great forums for meeting new suppliers and extending the range of languages we can handle, and this one was no exception. I met a number of interesting translators and we hope to add this talent to our database once we receive their CVs.

If this workshop runs again next year I’d definitely recommend it to fellow language professionals as a great way to pick-up new techniques and to meet others in the language industry.

Thanks Louise! We’ll be posting more of our team’s CPD in coming months, so to learn more about how we develop our people why don’t you drop in occasionally?