Recently a translation project for a seven-word sentence from English to 28 lanauges was completed.
Here we’d like to share our work flow of such project and we always look forward to receiving your comments.
The target languages include Amharic, Bosnian, Croatian, Hindi, Karen, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Tigrinya, Urdu, Armenian, Burmese, Farsi, Hmong, Pashto, Portuguese (BRA), Romanian, Swahili, Turkish, Bengali, Cambodian, Gujarati, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese (EU), Serbian, Tagalog, Ukrainian. So though the source context only includes 7 words, we needed to assign this job to 28 linguists and it was actually more than 28 ones. The client gave us 2 days to complete this job.
The inevitable problem is that there are relatively fewer translators in rare languges, but we met few difficulties in finding appropriate linguists to do this job except for some rare languages such as Tigrinya, tagalog, etc. Linguists in rare languages are
Also, there is a word “interpreter” in the source context and the client emphasized that “interpreter” must be translated correctly instead of being translated as “translator”. Though we provided this instruction to the linguists before they were assigned the job, we double checked with them upon the completion. And during this process, it took time to collect all their confirmation and detailed explanation back due to the time difference and some other reasons. So we had to check with more linguists while waiting.
After going through all the replies of the linguists, we once again found the interesting thing, that is some languges are similar in the writing, structure, etc. and some differ a lot. Like the Polish, it doesn’t differentiate between ‘translator’ and ‘interpreter’ with single words. The different functions are specified by adding an adjective after the word ‘tłumacz’ (translator), therefore: ‘tłumacz’ = translator or interpreter, ‘tłumacz ustny’ = interpreter (literally: oral/verbal translator), ‘tłumacz pisemny’= translator (literally: ‘written translator’). Usually, it’s obvious from the context. And in Tagalog, “Tagapagsalin” can mean translator or interpreter but if the client does need it to be specific, you can keep the word “interpreter” untranslated. Like Cambodian, The native people prefer using the term អ្នកបកប្រែ for both translator and interpreter. This term is generally used even in workshop or meeting but if the client wants it to be more clearer, it can be revised to be អ្នកបកប្រែផ្ទាល់មាត់. Meanwhile the linguist also emphasized that the term អ្នកបកប្រែផ្ទាល់មាត់ sounds awkward and they never call the person who translates orally like that. They just call only អ្នកបកប្រែ.
Besides human inspection, a QA process by Xbench was also arranged and no problem was found.
Finally we delivered the job to our client and await his feedback if any.