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Here’s a tip for resources if you’re working in a team: a profile that you’re all signed into on Chrome means you can share all your bookmarks with useful glossaries, encyclopaedias and other resources. Here’s one of our favourites for technical translators – DIN-TERM online from DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V., a resource with a full set of terms currently defined in DIN standards and specifications: https://www.din.de/en/services/din-termonline



Keep it simple with “sowie”


It’s easy to default instantly to “as well as” when “sowie” comes up in a text, but just “and” will often do fine:

“Wir fertigen Schrauben, Muttern sowie Bolzen”
Instead of this: “We make screws, nuts as well as bolts”

Try this: “We make screws, nuts and bolts”



Check Your Capitalisation

“Wir bearbeiten unsere Rohstoffe auf einem Transcendental Electric Discombobulator” (definitely a real machine)

You might find that source texts often contain technology names in English with initial capitals, like the above. But since German Likes To Capitalise Nouns, you can’t always assume that the same capitalisation will apply to your translation, so it’s important to check English-language sources and see what’s commonly used.

If “transcendental electric discombobulator” is what pops up in most cases, go with that – the golden rule is to avoid blindly copying and pasting just because something’s in English.



Keeping your reviser in the loop


We do a lot of in-house revision (in fact, most of our jobs at the moment are for clients that request translation plus revision, even for tiny texts*) – so in this LKTip, we’re thinking about notes for your reviser.

Notes for revisers are great because they let the reviser see your thought process. Revisers can’t read your mind and they’re often working within a tight time frame, so it’s super useful for them to have a direct insight into how you made certain decisions during the translation.

Sometimes it makes sense to insert comments directly in the CAT tool if you have specific points you want to raise (Trados has this function, for instance), but if there are general points you want to make, you can also add these to a separate file that you then send with your translation.

We tend to think of our notes in three broad categories:

– general pointers (e.g. general reference sources we’ve used, approaches the translator advises such as the best order in which to tackle files)

– terminology points (because we deal with a lot of technical terms)

– points about specific sentences or segments that have perhaps raised a question or posed a conundrum

On that last note, remember your reviser is a great source if you need a second opinion! If you’re unsure about whether to query something with a customer, for example, it can be useful to get your reviser’s thoughts – then you can both decide whether to escalate.

*Of course, sometimes the tiny texts are the ones that get you scratching your head the most!