Translation Methodology

When I translate, I rely on more than just bilingual dictionaries and glossaries (reference materials that provide already-translated equivalents of terms). More often, I rely heavily on monolingual sources. I read specialized dictionaries and legal texts in English, Spanish, and Italian. I study English reference materials and texts side-by-side with foreign-language reference materials and texts. Then, I make a judgment on whether or not a concept or term is equivalent with a foreign concept or term. This not only helps me to achieve accuracy, but also to use terminology and style in a way that is precise, natural, and up-to-date.

Some examples of my translation research methods include:

  • reading offense definitions from Guatemala's criminal code and comparing them with similar offense definitions from the U.S. Code;

  • comparing the Spanish version of a United Nations treaty with its English counterpart; and

  • collecting newspaper articles from various Latin American countries to see if any of the countries use a particular term differently than the other countries.

My translations undergo multiple rounds of quality assurance. After I confirm that my translations are faithful to the foreign languages, I make sure that my translations can be read with ease. My best translations read as if they were written by the lawyer, government official, or subject-matter expert who drafted the original document.

When producing a typical translation, I:

  • deep read the original document, identifying the most complicated concepts and terms;

  • consider the text type and target audience of the original document, including any client-specific instructions;

  • study the subject matter included in the original document by using external monolingual reference materials and texts;

  • create a glossary with solutions to the most complicated concepts and terms from the original document;

  • translate the original document;

  • compare the original document with the translation, ensuring that there are no translation errors; and

  • read the translation without comparing it to the original document, ensuring that the translation reads naturally, as if it were originally written in specialized American English.

Do your translation justice.

I will personally review your Spanish- or Italian-language documents so that we can discuss language solutions.