How is a barrier turned into a portal?
I began doing translation work in 1998 after several years of living and studying in Japan (about 1994–2000, mainly in Kansai). I translated a wide variety of materials, which included ISO quality control and environmental policies, business marketing materials, magazine and newspaper articles, technical marketing materials for specialized large-scale commercial equipment, commercial contracts, legal judgments, and even a book on management philosophy. Over the years, I gradually came to specialize only in equity research across a wide range of industry coverages.
My translation policies:
Put quality first and speed second.
Look up everything uncertain: Either track it down or flag it as not yet fully clear.
Follow the details of client style sheets and delivery preferences.
Leave upstream editors with an easier job (nothing much to fix here)
Deliver the most concise translations and do so at the agreed deadlines.
My translation process:
Understand the meanings conveyed from a Japanese writer to a Japanese reader.
Mentally step back from the words and linguistic forms through which that was done.
Express those same meanings as an English writer to an English reader.
Review the original again to confirm that all meanings have transferred correctly.
Perform a final edit for error-checking, flow, and naturalness.
Language does not have to remain a barrier, but can be transformed into a portal across cultural worlds. When translating, I cross through this portal, return, and then convey what I have seen on the other side.