Acting Ethically As A Translator

The ability to translate and interpret accurately from one language to another is an extremely valuable skill. These skills can be used to do good or evil, act ethically or immorally. During an average workday, the average Houston translator will encounter instances they need to be able to make moral choices: whether to translate and forward to another individual a message that keeps important and sensitive information confidential, if they should incorporate hold back or minimize information that doesn’t help their viewpoint, or if they should apply their company’s resources to transmit a purely social and personal message to their best friend. In numerous instances like these, the right thing to do is obvious for most professionals. However, there are a number of instances- irrespective of how well intended your individual perception of values is-offer no obvious classification of wrong or right behavior, only shades of gray. This can’t be any more observable than in the field of interpretation, translation and localization. Choices that happen to be obvious in a single social framework won’t be suitable for all social contexts. What could very well be regarded as anticipated and deserving compensation in a particular region may be regarded as criminal in another region. To certain cultures, it could even be regarded as considerably more ethical to save face than to tell an unpleasant truth. In certain cultures, it is appropriate to conduct business matters in in a bar. In many other cultures, the only appropriate location to conduct business is in an office setting.

As an executive, you require a strong knowledge of business ethics. Numerous ethical systems are in place, but nearly all are either utility-based, rule-based, rights-based, or a certain mixture of the three. In the preceding posts, we explain these systems.

Moving From The Planning Stage To Final Copy

There are some legal translators with advanced writing skills who can seamlessly move from the planning stages to the final copy.  However, most translators are much less experienced in writing and generally follow an easily recognizable 2-step process of planning and revision.  Regardless of the amount of experience you have, at some point you have to have to stop planning and start writing.

Most translators find that it is easiest to find a well lit room that is free of distractions.  Mark Shields, a provider of certified translations in Raleigh recommends using a large desk with plenty of room for a laptop computer and chair with excellent support.  To begin the process of writing, he suggests trying to write or type as quickly as possible.  At this stage, Mark suggests that you shouldn’t be concerned with refined sentences, spelling or sentence style.  Instead, the goal is to start writing and getting your mind thinking.  While you should follow the layout that you planned, you should be flexible and allow yourself room to make some changes.  Sometimes as you write, you might come up with a much better format that will be easier for the audience to grasp.  Likewise, you don’t need to start at the beginning of the report.  If another section seems easier to begin with then start there.   If you plan to cite sources then you should cite them into your draft to make things easier later. Microsoft Word and a variety of other word processing software make inserting footnotes and endnotes simple and quick.

To avoid writer’s block and burnout, try to pace yourself and don’t overdo it.  Try to work in 120-minute intervals before resting.  Plan to write for no more than five hours on a given day.  When you return to your project the next day, you should start revising your text.  While it is difficult to split the revision process into a number of objectives, keep in mind that there are two main stages that consist of substantive revision and mechanical revision.

The Marketing Analysts Translations Company is a leading provider of translation services in the United States.

How Translators Can Use Brainstorming For Conducting Research And Strategic Planning

Sometimes as a translation worker, you will be asked by a client to conduct a simple research project to gain information about product applications, technical details or even consumer usage behavior in a foreign country. One of the first steps in finding and collecting the information needed to accomplish the objectives of the project is to survey the information your client already has on hand. If the topic is one that you or your client is experienced with, it’s possible that you will already have enough knowledge to complete the task. Often times, it is more likely that the topic will be unfamiliar to you or that your own knowledge is inadequate to address the objective without more information.

Creative Thinking and Brainstorming

Before jumping head first into your assignment, The Marketing Analysts Translations Company recommends that you document what you already understand about the area of interest. Take advantage of a technique called creative thinking or brainstorming. In brainstorming, you organize thoughts and evaluate them in an manner that becomes increasingly organized and targeted. At first, make a note of anything that enters your mind that is related to the topic. The emphasis should be placed on being as creative as possible. After doing so, you can evaluate your thoughts for practicality, usefulness, efficiency and other criteria. Many Washington D.C. French to English translators will either write their thoughts down in a notebook, type them out on their computers, or even make use of special brainstorming software applications. By making use of the brainstorming approach, can begin to pinpoint and evaluate the information that is available to you and the data that you will need to collect.

As an undergraduate student or in your professional work experience, you make have already taken part in some sort of brainstorming planning. Some ways that you may have used it could have included coming up with a strategy to translate a large book, developing a plan to coordinate the activities of team of translators to meet an urgent deadline, or even plan a large simultaneous interpreting event for one of your clients. Although brainstorming and creative thinking techniques were created for use by small-teams, anyone can apply the techniques of brainstorming on their own to make a topic easier to understand. To help your brainstorming activities and, afterwards, to assess the outcome and effectiveness, make use of the information you produced regarding the requirements and perceptions of your client. The following questions are a few that could come up in your brainstorming session.

A Procedure To Simplify Translation and Composition

In the remainder of this section in our blog, we review a procedure that can be used at any degree of difficulty. The procedure was created by one of our Houston Translation workers and consists of examining your audience, establishing goals, uncovering and collecting data, planning organization, planning illustrations, composing and revising, composing and planning collaboratively (at times), and communicating ethically. The communication system can be complicated and is not easily broken down into a formula. You are able to compose making use of paper and pencil or using a computer with an installed word processing application. You can also make notes prior to writing on the computer, or you might even compose directly on the computer. All professional translators will develop their own personnal productive process. Nevertheless, if you aren’t already composing and translating on a computer, we encourage you to begin. Computer technology has eliminated a lot of the time intensive work from drafting, revising, and making corrections. In later blog entries we discuss the use of computers in workplace communication, and we provide suggestions for using them.

Based on the level of complexity, you may need to follow all of the steps only some of the time, but you will need to follow some of the steps all of the time. What is important is to check each step to see whether it is applicable to your translation project. If you do not do that, you risk overlooking some basic aspect that can cause a lot of difficulty later.

The Experiences You Will Have In Your Translation Career

Throughout the academic training that you received as a translator, your experiences in writing classes may have dealt primarily with personal or literary writing. You will find professional writing in a translation firm environment considerably different.

Professional communication in an international business setting is a craft, not an art form. As a craft, professional communication is a logical procedure that tends to be learned. This procedure develops from the main theme presented in many of the posts on this blog.  This is to say that as a professional translator, your professional writing experiences provide certain information to a certain target audience for a certain objective.  Our Houston Translation team will guide you through the stages of the procedure. While you build and improve your skills in professional communication, you might discover that certain projects are easier and while others are more difficult. The procedure is similar to learning how to navigate through an unknown region, as the subsequent metaphor suggests.

Here is a metaphor that a leading French translator in New York City offers:  It is likely that you are very familiar with the neighborhood you live in. Regardless of whether you ride your bike, take a bus or drive your car to work, the trip probably requires your to travel a few blocks or several miles down a number of different streets. Of these regularly traveled trips, you know where you are going and have no need for a map. You know exactly how you should get to work. As you stray farther afield, you may glance at a map before you start to confirm the route. For a trip to a totally new destination, you obtain a map and prepare an itinerary from it. You keep the itinerary and map close at hand as you travel.

But imagine you are venturing into unfamiliar terrain for which you have no map. As professional translation workers, we have all done that from time to time, perhaps in  town that is new to us or in rough back country. Here we may make many false starts and turns. We may start in one direction and walk or drive on bravely until we realize that we are not moving any closer to our goal. We back up and start over again.  The strange territory not only may be geographically unfamiliar, but also might be culturally quite different. We may need to learn much about issues of ethnicity and ideology in which the unfamiliar culture plays a defining role. Along the way, we may meet someone who gives us better directions for at least part of the way. So we proceed by trial and error and by gathering additional information until we reach our goal.Your experiences as a language translator will be a lot like this metaphor.

Objections to Teleconferences

Experts at MIT believe that a telemeeting is not as effective as an actual meeting, contending that transmission of a person’s image and words is “a far cry” from getting a “sense of a person’s presence”. Others have coined the phrase “telenerd” to describe people who “fall into a paralysis of self-consciousness” when they see themselves on a monitor. Still some Miami French translators believe that the medium creates hostility among strangers who first meet at a telemeeting. Despite what the experts say, companies like telemeetings and are using them often.

Teleconferencing Applications

Like word processing and electronic mail, teleconferencing saves time and money, while also establishing a more efficient information flow. AT&T charges $2,380 for a one-hour teleconference between New York and San Francisco. “That’s about what it would cost three company executives to fly round-trip to the meeting.”, says one provider of Portuguese translation in Washington DC.  Add to flight costs the costs of taxi fares, meals, lodging, and gratuities – and most important, the salaries of the travelling executives and the practicality of teleconferences become clear. In addition, a number of web based solutions are much more affordable.

Traditionally, some companies flew their top managers from around the country for weekly meetings. Now, the company saves money, time, and the strain of travel on its employees by holding weekly teleconferences. Consider, too, that research conducted by one Saint Louis translation services indicates that at least 50-percent of all air fares come from business people traveling to and from meetings. Teleconferencing may not excite airlines, but companies realize the potential.

Beyond teleconferencing’s savings in money and time, conferees point to additional benefits. Time is usually limited; meetings and thus more productive, efficient, and informative because conferees digress less and follow their agendas more closely. A teleconference also gives junior staff (who would not ordinarily be invited because of the expense) a chance to participate in a conference.


Listening can take many forms. In this section we will discuss critical, discriminative, therapeutic, appreciative, and courteous listening.

Critical Listening
Critical listening involves analyzing and interpreting a message. As one Houston Translation worker explained, analysis requires judging the message for facts, documentation, logic, relationships, inferences, personal biases, unsupported opinions, and other qualities of reason and truth. We use this form of listening whenever people try to persuade us to their point of view.

Discriminative Listening
All of us hope people are listening indiscriminately when we’re explaining a concept, giving instructions, describing a process, outlining a proposal, giving a report, lecturing, or otherwise speaking informatively. Discriminative listening involves comprehension and recall. As a discriminative listener, Washington D.C. translation services workers suggest that you should listen for details, grasp the thesis, understand relationships, follow sequences, develop questions and answers, summarize main points, evaluate ideas, store information, recall main points, and give feedback – essential skills in college and business .

Therapeutic Listening
Therapeutic listening involves listening with empathy; that is, with understanding of another’s feelings, beliefs, and values. In contrast to critical and discriminative listening, which call for judging and evaluating, therapeutic listening is nonjudgmental, calling instead for supportive and sympathetic verbal and nonverbal feedback. As defined by a French translator in Chicago, Therapeutic listening is the form of listening used when employees have work-related or personal problems, when your friends need someone to talk to, when children need a good listener, or whenever someone wants to talk something out.

Feedback in therapeutic listening serves to keep the person talking. Verbal feedback would include comments like: “I see,” “What did you do then?” “What do you think made you react that way?” “Uh huh.” “Yes.” Nonverbal feedback would include sympathetic gestures, smiles, nods, and leaning toward the speaker. Therapeutic listening creates an atmosphere that lowers the speaker’s defenses, allowing the speaker to verbalize whatever is troubling him or her.

Asking Questions Regarding Other People

The requirement to find out about men and women frequently comes up in business. As an illustration, Houston translation services workers indicate that nearly all international businesses request that job applicants provide references prior to giving credit, signing agreements, offering work, granting promotions, providing internships and scholarships, etc. In case you are seeking employment and your prospective employer requests professional references, you should compose a message to a former manager, supervisor or co-worker, requesting that they provide a letter of recommendation. On the other hand, experts providing Spanish Translation in Denver indicate that if you happen to be a hiring manager thinking about whether you should hire a job candidate, you might need to contact the individual directly that the candidate has listed as a reference. Regardless of the scenario, keep in mind how the technique of composing messages of inquiry regarding job candidates is a lot like the inquiries previously mentioned; that is, these kinds of inquiries incorporate a straightforward statement of the inquiry (or principal thought); a validation of the inquiry (description of the scenario with specifics); and a respectful close that consists of a request for a particular response.

Remove needless words and phrases

A number of words and permutations of words are unwarranted, some others are repetitious, and several include one-word equivalents. According to one San Francisco Translator, legalistic language is a common culprit: “This is to advise you that we have” (We have is sufficient); “for the total amount of” (for); “in the situation that” (if); “on the scenario of” (on); “just before the start of” (before). Redundancy is a fairly less significant downside: “Noticeable to the eye” (visible is enough-there isn’t anything that can be seen by the ear); “encircled on all sides” (encircled suggests on all sides). Relative pronouns including who, that, and which frequently result in clutter, and occasionally even articles are too much (primarily too many the’s).

Nevertheless, well-positioned relative pronouns and articles carry out an essential purpose by avoiding bewilderment. As an example, without that, the subsequent sentence is unclear:

Complicated: The director informed the designers the other day that the requirements were modified.

Clear: The engineer informed the designers the other day that the requirements were altered.

Clear: The director informed the engineers that the other day the features were adjusted.

An Example Of A Poorly Organized Letter

In continuing our series on organization messages, a Houston Translation Services worker provided this letter that we will be evaluating.  According to the translator, this letter was mailed to the customer care team of a major retailer operating in a Houston, Texas mall:

My father was in an automobile collision 6 months ago, and hasn’t had the capacity return to full-time full-time employment since.  Because he is on disability, we no longer have as much money to buy things like before. However my mother is a librarian at the Houston Public Library and consequently aren’t living in poverty. And in another month or two, my father is going to start working again.

My mother, father, brothers, sisters and I have all shopped at the location in the Galleria ever since I was a little baby. Your original location was much smaller and was located in an old mall that the city eventually tore down and built several tall buildings in its place. My father purchased my first bicycle there for my sixth birthday. I will always recall that exciting day. I even remember him paying in cash for it. My parenys usually buy things with cash. I have three brothers and two sisters, and they all need a lot of products that you sell. The mp3 player that I purchased for my oldest sister Janette for her birthday seems to be broken. My family has  sent to the factory service center twice in 6 months to get it fixed, and my sister is really protective with it and hasn’t dropped it or gotten it wet. My sister really enjoys likes to play her guitar. It’s still not working, and I’m exhausted from carrying it to the post office and home due to the fact that I work at 7-Eleven after school and never have any leisure time. I paid cash for the mp3 player too.

This is actually the very first time that I had to returned something to your store, and I think you recognize that I need a better offer.

This message demonstrates the type of poor organization that message recipients consider aggravating. Here is an analysis of what one English to French translator in Chicago found wrong:

  • Using too much time to state the issue. The author used several hundred words before mentioning the topic: the defective mp3 player. Then the author finally stated her purpose at the end: She would like a some sort of discount.
  • Including unnecessary content. The author included unnecessary details that had offered no support to her purpose or topic. Who honestly cares if the store used to be smaller or was located somewhere else several years ago? Just what exactly does working at 7-Eleven have to do with anything? Or whether her sister plays a guitar?
  • Introducing thoughts in an irrational sequence. The author placed a few of the thoughts in the incorrect spot. The grouping and order are illogical. The author is apparently presenting six points: (1) her family has cash to buy things, (2) they are long-time, loyal shoppers, (3) they make payments in cash, (4) they purchase a lot of products from the store, (5) the mp3 player won’t function correctly, and (6) the shopper would like a discount. Isn’t it more reasonable to start with the fact that the mp3 is broken? Don’t you agree that many of her thoughts should be put together under the common concept that the author is a repeat customer?
  • Removing essential details. The author neglected a few essential details. The customer care agent probably needs to have the brand, model number, and price of the mp3 player; the purchase date; the particular problems the mp3 player exhibits; and if the repairs were included under the terms of the warranty. The author also neglected to indicate the precise action she wants the store to take. Does she want a new cassette player of the same type? A different model? Or her money back?

These four types of problems are the cause of many difficulties an experienced certified translator will find in international business communication.