If you’re a translator, why don't you translate into languages other than your mother tongue?

To have a command of a foreign language to the extent that it sounds as natural as a native speaker is a rarity for the translator of written texts and is only to be recommended for a minority of text types. Personally, I’m of the opinion that only a native speaker is able to render the smallest nuance in a natural way - and it’s even hard for them sometimes! That's why I work with colleagues with the reversed language combination.

I need a translation into various languages - why should I make use of a translator who translates exclusively into their mother tongue?

Direct contact between translator and customer is of fundamental importance in being able to exchange information and discuss; when a third party gets involved, information rapidly gets lost. If you do require translation into other languages, I can realize your project with colleagues with other language pairs, such as:


English - Italian - French - Spanish - Portuguese - Russian  - Polish -

Norwegian - Danish - Swedish - Japanese - Chinese - Arabic


Why does it take so long?

Translating a text takes more time than writing a text. A number of time factors need to be taken into account in the translation process and translation is often the least of them. Sometimes it is research that takes the most time, as a translation often has to be placed in context (corporate identity) and terminology specific to the customer and/or sector has to be analysed and used. Time must also be allowed for the final proofread of the finished text. Splitting a text between multiple translators is to be avoided where possible. Too many cooks spoil the broth, and translators often have different writing styles. Words can usually be translated in a number of ways, which can cause major comprehension problems for the reader and negatively impact on quality. However, should it be unavoidable to split the translation due to time constraints, we will find a solution.

How can a client contribute to a successful working relationship?

Before beginning a job, the translator requires a detailed explanation of who or what the translation is intended for. Is there, for example, a specific target group that can be assumed to have particular prior knowledge (e.g. in terms of cultural context)? Which linguistic area is the translation intended for (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, South Tyrol)? Do you already have internal company glossaries or earlier translations as references? If pictures, objects or places are described, an image or at least a link is helpful. If the translation’s final recipient is to going see a picture, the translator also has to be able to see it in order to avoid misunderstandings. As an example of how this can be significant, the English pink is indeed translated into German as pink - but also as rosa, a much lighter color. Such inaccuracies are certainly undesirable in the translation of fashion content, for instance.