Translation is a two-stage process. It consists of the translation process itself, and an editing phase. The second phase – which itself can involve several drafts – is crucial, because it turns a French translation that reads like a translation from English or Spanish into one that reads like an original French document. It is this phase that ultimately determines the quality of the translation.
I translate from English and Spanish into French, and can handle up to around 1,500 words a day, not including the editing phase.
Websites, brochures, press releases and other marketing copy often require far more than just “translation”, because product and marketing concepts are generally tied to a specific culture. To have the same impact in another culture, they may need to be substantially rewritten. My translation service includes this cultural adaptation element.
For many people, the word “writing” conjures up images of great works of fiction and poetry. But most of the writing produced in the world is non-fiction: it is designed not to entertain, but to inform. This second kind of writing is a less elusive skill than the first, but still requires patience and subtlety.
French translation is my speciality, but I also write and edit articles on translation and architecture for magazines, newsletters and academic architectural publications. Up until December 2014, I also wrote a weekly column on the French-language blog La Poutre dans l’oeil, about architecture, cultural clichés and French translation (over 100K views).
Editing and proofreading
Editing is the process of checking the quality of a French translation by comparing it with the original English or Spanish document; proofreading means checking the quality of a stand-alone French document.
My translation rates vary depending on urgency, file format, and the technical complexity of the document. For example, projects involving work overnight, at weekends or on public holidays are subject to an additional charge of 25-50%. I can gladly quote in pounds sterling or euros.
For small projects I charge a minimum fee of £35.