Example 2: Helping a translator talk about her work
In 2014 translator Larisa Villar Hauser got in touch with me to ask for help rewriting her website. Though she works with words in multiple languages every day, she was having trouble knowing how to present her business. When we discussed her work, I found out how interesting and tricky translation can be. In my copy I decided to give specific examples of some of the linguistic decisions Larisa has had to make for various projects, as a way of showing the value of her expertise. Below is a sample of the text I wrote for her.
"Translating for the media is about more than conveying the basic meaning – it’s about getting across the intention behind the words too. A director’s statement for a historical drama demands a different tone to the script of a crime series, which in turn uses completely different language to a funding application. Then there are the subtleties of word choice and idiom. Is Planet Sparrow or Sparrow Planet more suitable for the title of a documentary? Would an English family sitting down to dinner say ‘Bon appetit’, ‘Enjoy’ or ‘Dig in’?
Larisa Villar Hauser translates from French, Spanish and German into English. She has more than ten years’ experience translating for media, applying the sensitivity to language that comes from being raised tri-lingual to a wide range of creative projects.
Yet sometimes translating a document, even taking into account the nuances of different languages, isn’t enough. Larisa Villar Hauser is an experienced editor of foreign language-into-English texts. Your document may contain local references that need to be replaced, or its tone may need to be adjusted because of cultural differences. You may want to make the work stronger, reshape it into a different format or check for clarity, readability, repetitions, spelling and grammar. To discuss how Larisa might be able to help you with your project, do get in touch."