7 Indicators of Creative Potential in a Translator

7 Indicators of Creative Potential in a Translator

7 Indicators of Creative Potential in a Translator

A skilled translator injects a healthy dose of creative potential into their task. The act of translating and the creative process are virtually inseparable, a fact that is especially true in literary translations.

Why do translator’s career need to be creative?

Creativity is the key by which a skilled translator deals with some of the most common problems in translating. Often, a translator will hesitate between representing form versus content.

Creativity is the thing that can find a harmonious balance between the two, and the whole process becomes more art than science. In addition, translations should not be literal. Rather, they need to convey the full meaning of the original text, which includes cultural context. Some languages have idioms and sayings that don’t exist in other languages. Many of these find their roots in cultural cues which may not even exist in the culture of the target language.

What is the right amount of “creative”?

There are many degrees of creativity. Too little or too much can lead to undesirable outcomes. Too little creativity can cause a bland translation that is possibly inaccurate in tone while too much creativity risks losing the original intent of the text and replacing it with the translator’s own intent. An ideal translation would use the “Goldilocks Effect”. Which means not too much creativity and not too little, but just the right amount.  Pulling this off successfully requires mastery of the target language and the superb knowledge of the source language.

In addition, it requires an excellent understanding of the culture associated with both languages. Therefore, when you are translating, keep in mind it isn’t just about the words. A masterful translator needs to both translate the word and also interpret the cultural context.

There are several levels of creative potential in translation

1. Personal translation style 

Translators will always instill something personal in their work. The outcome directly links to the person who produced it. Each translator approaches a text differently. Should several translators work on the same text, then we would witness over several translation versions.

Creativity is inherently personal and through a personal translation style, translators manifest their creative potential.

2. Ability to connect the dots

In a translation, there are many dots to connect before the translator achieves the best result. The tools (dots) translators inadvertently mix span from a feel of the language, translation and writing skills, in-depth understanding of the cultural context in play, the ability to read between the lines to the more technical aspects of their work such as CAT tools, glossaries, resources.

3. Copywriting skills

Translators often provide copywriting services to diversify and as a natural extension to translation. Translators are brilliant copywriters. Because they can approach texts from a “translator’s perspective”, focusing on clarity and precision avoiding wording that can cause misinterpretation.

4. Artistic personality

The profession of a translation demands this worker have a creative potential. Why? Because they need to support any topic, the particularity of their jobs demands them to know much. And this gives arguments why not every person, knowing the language, can be a translator?

There are many translators who are also artists, in the true sense of the word. A tad of research has revealed a creative “alias” for quite a few linguists who, besides their main professional activity, are engaged (either as a hobby or on a professional level) in creative activities:

  • a photographer,
  • a hard rock singer,
  • a designer of book covers,
  • a branding expert,
  • an Italian tenor,
  • a singer with studies in vocal music,
  • a poet/baroque trombonist,
  • a novelist,
  • a painter and more.

Art is an outlet, a way to express emotions and concerns. An artistic activity has something in common with the translating psyche which elaborates, adapts and metamorphoses information, a “source”, into something else, a “target” or in the language of an artist: a painting, a photograph, a novel.

Art is (also) about translating feelings. And, highly qualified linguists can be remarkable at drawing or playing the violin and still be sought-after professionals just like anybody else.

5. Creatively perceptive

Translators do not read superficially. They assimilate and elaborate information as part of their work process. Knowledge inspires. The more you know, the more you want to explore. The language stimulates to create and find solutions. Translators are creative because they soak up the knowledge in the world.

6. Motivated by a language as a creative tool

Language is indisputably creative. Like an artist who uses colors, mixing them in combinations that serve the purpose of an art project, translators will similarly use language as a tool with which to produce their work.

That translators know at least two languages,  stimulates their creativity even more. The languages enrich them and they know how to complement possible “voids” in one language with information from another. Creativity is more likely to surface when speaking over one language.

7. Excellent branding skills

The success of a marketing campaign depends on how a potential customer receives the persuasive message – will the arguments used by us be accepted? Will the slogan make them laugh/upset/annoyed? Will it trigger emotions which will induce them to buy?
In marketing, branding is the par excellence paradigm of translators’ creativity (branding usually applies to freelance translators/business owners and not all translators). Through the creation of a brand, translators connect those dots that will help communicate their message to clients and prospects.

Their ability to translate the essence of their services into a brand name, design, colors, marketing copy is admirable.

Translators’ creative potential is obvious on many levels and it requires more attention and appreciation, first, and foremost by translators themselves, so they can firmly and confidently enrich not just their own world of possibilities, but the message they give out to the world.

Translators are creators.

References:

jyx.jyu.fi

www.globalme.net

translationjournal.net


Recent Articles about Translation  

Tips to Reduce the Cost of Your Next Translation Project
Tips to Reduce the Cost of Your Next Translation Project
Last Updated on April 15, 2019

A translation option in your website would be great

Your website would have got off ground and things would be moving smoothly with your business gradually taking root. But then you tend to realize that your competitors have a translation option in their website, which you do not. If they have it, like that old saying you need to “keep up with the Jones”. What your competition does you too would need to do because they would have an edge above you which you would have missed.

(more…)
Tips for Going Global with Your Business
Tips for Going Global with Your Business
Last Updated on April 8, 2019

Globalization

The new word that is proliferating around the world and one that is on everyone’s lips. Emanating from a rural town in the far west of the United States, to a sleepy village in the jungles of Asia the word, globalization is being spoken of with much interest. More so because most humans living on this resplendent planet we call home are connected to the Internet. They would be sporting a mobile phone which has been their immediate link to the world outside from their domain.

(more…)
Why Machine Translation Will Never Replace Human Translation
Why Machine Translation Will Never Replace Human Translation
Last Updated on April 1, 2019

A world full of languages

There are thousands of different languages that are being used by people of this world to communicate with each other. When we come across a language that is alien to us we could seek a translator to help us out. Translations are required for economic, political, business, social and every other branch of human activity.

(more…)
Interpreting Your Corporate Documents
Interpreting Your Corporate Documents
Last Updated on March 25, 2019

Corporate companies would have their tentacles into many spheres and that would mean that they would have their activities spread out in many areas. This would necessitate that they have many documentations that would have to be written, perused and signed. It would also mean that they may use more than one standard language and hence would need to operate in different geographical areas.

(more…)
10 Tips for Beginning Translators
10 Tips for Beginning Translators
Last Updated on March 18, 2019

Embarking on a career as a freelance translator could be an interesting course to charter but it could be quite a daunting one too. The challenges are numerous with the competition quite stiff but do not despair as the opportunities are wide and varied.

(more…)
5 Tips on How to Get the Best of Translation Services
5 Tips on How to Get the Best of Translation Services
Last Updated on March 11, 2019

If your company is offering an international brand, either in products or services it would be imperative that you reach the maximum audience if you are to get optimum mileage. For this you need high-quality translation services.

(more…)
How Translation Helps to Increase Your Sales
How Translation Helps to Increase Your Sales
Last Updated on March 4, 2019

Globalization is the most loved word in the English language and also when translated would be in all the other languages of the world too. It is globalization that has made the world very much smaller than it really is and all this because of the ease of communication. The ability to communicate with anyone in any corner of the world is possible today due to globalization.

(more…)

Get The Best Translation Price