How do you become a better translator?

📖 By reading a lot
🔀 By translating a lot

And what else?
✍️ You need to write well!

When the SFT Syndicat newsletter dropped into my inbox with details of a writing masterclass for French>English translators right here in Nantes, it’s safe to say I jumped at the chance!

Chris Durban and Oliver Lawrence ran an intensive full-day course on moving beyond ‘translationese’ to produce thoughtful, carefully crafted texts for the most discerning clients. Plenty of people fail to realise that translation is about so much more than proficiency in the source language; the best translators are also the best writers, effectively conveying the intended message to the target audience.

One of the sessions involved comparing AI, standard and premium versions of the same translation. There was no mistaking which version was the most enjoyable to read, but it was so valuable to drill down into the details of why with fellow professionals. After all, what’s the point of having a text translated at all if no one wants to read it through?

I came away from the event brimming with ideas, buzzing with new contacts and excited to start putting my new tips into practice. If you have the chance to sign up for this masterclass in the future, I would definitely recommend it!

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