Should I tell you a secret? Today, you can get any text translated – for free. You can use automatic translation tools, such as google translate or babylon. The result vary – between “readable, but not quite it”, to “completely incomprehensible”.
If you’re satisfied with a mediocre result, there’s no need to spend money. But those who respect the text they’ve written, and their readers, ought to provide them a text they can understand. Automatic translation does not provide a comprehensive text, or even a result you can “work with”. Good translation requires a professional, real-life translator.
A translator should be familiar with the destination language as well as the target language. But a translator should also be familiar with the subject-matter of the text. As an attorney, I speak two additional languages – Hebrew and English “Legalese”. These languages are not easy, and the result of legal translation by a lawyer would always have a special touch that is hard to come by if you are not a professional.
I specialize in the following:
- Legal translation – I’m a certified lawyer, LL.B. from the Tel Aviv University
- Academic translation, specifically psychology and biology – B.A. Psychology from the Tel Aviv University
- Translating children’s books and rhymes
People ask me – isn’t translating difficult? Isn’t it boring?
So no, I don’t find it difficult or boring – I find it challenging. The ability to translate is a wonderful gift. It enables me to connect people who don’t speak the same language, help them understand each other. It requires that I understand what the author is trying to say, and then make the readers understand just that, and at the same time remain loyal to the text. I can’t write as I would, using my style, but I have to stick to the writer’s style. Translating requires, on the one hand, adhering to the text, and on the other – tons of creativity. That’s why I like it.