French to English translation
The translation strategies I use will depend on what the source material is, why you want it translated, how the translation will be presented, and who will be reading or hearing it in what situation.
Sometimes there are good reasons for making a translation mirror the original closely. Even so, different languages work differently: don’t expect the translation to use the same word order, vocabulary and constructions as the original.
At the opposite end of the scale, in transcreation, what’s important is to capture the audience’s attention and produce an equivalent effect.
We’ll need to decide together where your project comes on the spectrum.
I will normally deliver documents in the same format as the source files. If I have to work from paper, a non-modifiable document, a spreadsheet or a slide presentation format, the job will take longer and so may cost more.
- quick turnaround
- proofreading before going to print
- reviewing by another translator or a specialist editor
- summary translation for a smaller space
- adaptation to a different medium (e.g. print to online).
A complex set of conventions for subtitling in foreign languages has evolved over the decades, based on what the audience has time to read and what most usefully complements the picture and sound. Technological developments have opened up new possibilities for freelance professional subtitlers – and film fans without a translation background. If you haven’t commissioned subtitles before, be aware that subtitlers work within technical constraints – and that subtitling requires language skills as well as the ability to use software.
I can do the spotting myself, but if you provide a spotting list, I will charge less. The subtitling software I use is Annotation Edit (for Macintosh only, produced by Zeitanker). I usually receive videos in .mov or mp4 formats and deliver subtitles in stl and timecoded rtf. For a fuller list of import and export formats, see Zeitanker website.
For copy-editing and rewriting, I use LibreOffice Writer, but the files can be delivered in your usual word-processing format. Depending on the project, I can track and/or highlight changes and can include comments in the form of marginal annotations or a separate list. If you don’t already have a house style, I’ll need to create a style sheet, so don’t be surprised when I ask questions about things like punctuation, spelling and presentation of numbers.
To proofread PDFs, I use Adobe DC on a Macintosh laptop.
I can produce marketing or journalistic copy on the basis of your information or conduct research and interviews myself. You’ll need to put together a brief that includes the topic, target audience, medium, length, house style guidelines and how the item fits into your marketing plan (for commercial copywriting) or guidelines on editorial policy and angle (for journalism).