Because there are so many incredibly different kinds of texts, “translation” can refer to many quite different activities. A skilled translator is one who is able to thoroughly analyze the source text and render all of the meanings of the text in another language.

One of the key aspects of translation is that it is an activity that cannot be rushed, if you want to obtain a good and representative text as its result. While an interpreter has to work as swiftly as possible, a high quality translation needs time and at least several passes through the entire text. I personally prefer working in three stages: making a rough translation of the source in the first, reading it and comparing it to the original in the second, to fix any mistakes or omissions, and in the third reading only the translation and fine-tuning stylistic features of the text, its general flow, needless repetitions and similar details. If there is a hurry, it is possible to make the process a bit faster; in that case, the translator is entitled to ask for an extra fee compensating for the need to put everything else aside and spend all available time on just one job.

The word “text” can be applied to many things, from highly technical papers to texts that are relatively simple and written in everyday language. It is, therefore, quite impossible to give an estimate of the difficulty of the translation and the required time without at least a quick look at the actual text. Also, translating into a second language is always more difficult than translating into the native tongue, not to mention that any text intended for any form of publication or printing should be first checked by a proofreader. No translator is infallible and a single pair of eyes can never provide a hundred percent guarantee of quality. This is something to bear in mind when you order a translation.

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