Translation: Frequently Asked Questions for translators (video in French with subtitles)

To wrap up the French theme of this week, after sharing a cool learning resource and a new book about the Quebec dialect, it’s time for a video in French! Today’s one is subtitled in four languages; original French, English, Arabic and Portuguese!

This video was actually recorded two months ago, just before I left Brussels. I had the chance to finally meet up with Christine Schmit in person – she is the one who translated the Language Hacking Guide to French (here is the sales page in French for “Domptez les langues étrangères“). She is from Luxembourg, but made the trip to spend a few hours with me. You can see more about her on her site Languages and Translation.

As you may already know, I worked as a freelance translator for several years myself too – specifically just for technical documents related to my specialisation of electronic engineering. You can read in detail about my background before getting into it, and how I managed to start my location independent work as a translator.

While working as a translator however, I got a lot of questions from people that showed that understanding of this field among non-translators is foggy at best. I like how a typical question many translators get asked is conveyed in this great online comic about translators (and book):

Make sure to have a watch of the video and see us discuss the following topics:

  • [01:09] Is being bilingual all you need to be a good translator?
  • [02:30] Can a professional translator translate any text/topic/subject of their language combination?
  • [04:00] Christine’s background before starting work as a professional translator.
  • [05:38] CAT tools for helping translators.
  • [07:45] Will translators be replaced with Google Translate any time soon?
  • [09:00] What about bad translations? How do we know it’s good?
  • [11:30] If you already speak a language well, what’s the best way to get into translation?
  • [14:14] How to find Christine.

Sorry if my French is a little rusty – I was only passing through Brussels for a couple of weeks and was actually speaking lots of Dutch and several other languages for the vast majority of my time while there. Hopefully the interview was interesting and non-translators learned a few things about how translators work.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!



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