Translation is a process of translating from one language (source language) to a different language (target language). For example, in translating a document from English to Malay, the English document is the source text while the target text is Malay (the language used in Malaysia).
When a translator is given a translation job, the translator should read the whole source language document first.
This is necessary to determine the style of the text, the possible obstacles that may be faced during the translation work and to organize the appropriate translation strategies. Based on these, the translator could then decide whether to accept the translation work or not.
If the translator accepts the translation work, the translator would have to go through the following translation process:
Step 1. Analyze the source text to discover its meaning
Step 2. Find the closest meaning in the target language
Step 3. Arrange and re-express the meanings according to the sentence structure of the target language. And it must also be in context with the communication and culture of the target language.
After the translation process, the translated text is considered as the initial draft and not the completed version yet. Before it can be handed over to the client or can be considered as the completed translation version, this draft must be tested first.
Why this test is required? It is required in order to make sure that the meaning which is conveyed by the translation is accurate and clear, and that the style of the language used is natural and appropriate.
First, do this simple self-translation test by comparing the translation with the original text and ask the following questions:
Is there meaning which has been lost?
Is there meaning which has been added?
Is there meaning which has been altered?
Is the arrangement of words in the translation is very similar to the arrangement of words in the source language. If that is so, then it is possible that the language which has been used is not very natural to the target language audience.
Then, do a second-person test by getting help from a few other people who were not involve in the translation work to read the translation aloud.
During this test, notice the following:
Are the readers or listeners able to understand the information correctly?
Is the information clear enough for them, and is it easily understood?
Does it sound good and natural to them?
Difficulty in reading:
This is possibly be caused by unnatural language used in the translation.
Sentences where the reader stops, hesitates or rereads something. This could possibly mean that the sentences are understood with difficulty or are not understood at all.
After these questions have been answered satisfactorily, only then the translation work is completed.