Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Freelance Translator

Recently, I did translation jobs for a few juniors of mine from IIUM Kuantan. They were asked to translate the abstract of their FYP thesis into Bahasa Melayu. For some students, especially those who are not competent in the national language of Malaysia, they found it difficult as the filed of the writing was in science and health fields that have specific terms when it comes to translating them into other language.

Being academically exposed in English for more of less 4 years degree study, that wasn't something they expected to do in their final year (during my time we did not have to translate anything for the project). Alhamdulillah, they came to me through Facebook and e-mail to transfer the burden.

One of the translation jobs was related to acne. It was interesting to do the translation for that particular one because the main word was acne, which I translated into akne, instead of jerawat.

As expected, the student asked me why I did so.

This is where the advantage of dealing with the freelance translator comes - you can ask directly to the translator if you do not understand or have some questions to ask to the translator. Most importantly, the translator can answer considerably in immediate manner.

As in my case, the student contacted me through the Facebook and asked the question. Since I subscribe notifications through my mobile phone, I could answer to her immediately. She understood what I explained to her and she was, as far as I concerned, satisfied with the quality of my job.

In other case, since I also provide editing service, I had no choice but to edit some of the abstracts. There was one case where I failed to translate a sentence in the abstract because it was nowhere to meet my understanding. To deal with that, I highlighted that particular sentence and then asked the student to rewrite the sentence and I provided few possible options for the translation.

All of the above cases are in the case of translating from English to Bahasa Melayu.

I also got a translation job from Bahasa Melayu to English! More interestingly, the area of the content in the writing was in Literature. Since it was different from my academic background, I took the job as a challenge. I did some research before I did the translation. In fact, that's a crucial need for translators - we have to do research to translate. We do not simply translate without actually trying to get more understanding about what is being translated. Alhamdulillah, the client accepted my translation.

I think after the experience in finishing the translation jobs, I am in the right direction that suits my personal interest.

And now I have found my new love - translating!

(Don't worry my soon-to-be-wife fiancée. She's not that beautiful like you! :P)
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