Translators do so much more than translating your text into the language you desire. Given that most translators will translate exclusively into the language(s) they know best, namely, their mother tongue(s), they become life-long learners of the culture they translate from. It becomes second nature, after a while, to immerse oneself in the source language and culture.
However, in order to faithfully translate, a professional translator will always employ her/his research skills in the field s/he is translating. Sometimes it has taken me days to go through writings in the area I’m translating, only to become well acquainted with terms, concepts, sentence structures, perspectives in a given field. This always gives birth to a well-rounded glossary that I will keep close to me when doing the actual translation. Later on, whether I’m using an automated translation tool or translating on my own, such a glossary will become in a key tool to fulfill my client’s expectations.
After a good, deep research, I must carve time alone out of my busy wife/freelance/mommy schedule, in order to focus on the translation task ahead of me. Most of the time, I use different translation techniques in order to make my text as similar to the original text, in terms of readability as well as in terms of character.
After the translation is done, I leave it for a while so I can go back to it with a fresh mind and review the translation, using through comparison of both texts.
The next time I open the project is to read it only in the target language, in order to catch those tricky little details that make the text “feel” original Spanish. And sometimes I check this twice or thrice. It depends how crazy I am about impressing my client, ha! Or not. I’m just that professional 😉
And that is it. Now you have a clearer idea of what I do. Do you think the image below makes me justice? :O