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I'm participating in the Platform Building Campaign. If you're a fellow campaigner stopping by, make sure to leave me a comment if you follow me so that I can find you. Sometimes there's not a link in your profile on the GFC so I don't have a way to figure out where you came from. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and to reading your posts!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lost in Translation

When my husband and I began our translating business, we truly had no clue what we were doing. It began as a request from a friend. You see, my husband’s first language is urdu and second is English. I’m the opposite. My first language is English and second language is Urdu. 

My husband’s friend wanted a book that was written in Urdu to be translated into English. That is how my husband and I came up with our unique style of translation. We translate together. Every paragraph. We discuss its obvious and hidden meanings. Variations of words that can be used. Or if there isn’t one particular word my husband will explain to me all the meanings and uses and I’ll figure out what English word works best. 

By using this method we’re able to have a translation that doesn’t “look” like a translation. If you’ve ever watched a badly subtitled movie or just read some of the humorously translated Chinese signs then you know what I’m talking about by “looking” translated. 

When we had completed his friend’s book, he showed it to a publisher friend of his and we were hired. That’s when we thought “ok now what?! We’re not professionals”. That’s when I turned to the web in search of various other professional translation sites.  I was surprised at how many I found. The Shanghai translationcompany/companies were the most helpful in answering some of our more basic questions on what to do next. 

It’s been three years since that simple request turned into a business. My husband and I have translated upwards of 100 books in that time. Some from Urdu to English and some from Arabic to Urdu. I have no idea how many we’ll end up doing by the time we’re finished. I didn’t think there would be that many but it seems the list just keeps growing. Which I’m glad about. I love translating. It lets me feel like I’m part of the book making process, and being an avid reader there is no greater enjoyment than being able to see a book blossom from beginning to end. And then seeing it in the hands of other readers, there is no greater gift than that.


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