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What I see is what I want

What I see is what I want

“Here’s a skincare brochure to translate”, reads the email from the project manager. “Don’t buy all the products!” How well they know me! These brochures and websites are just too tempting. Once you’ve spent all day reading about the undeniable advantages of wearing top quality, super fashionable Italian sunglasses, have looked at all the photos and translated the texts, of course you want them. You have to have them! No cheaper and less fashionable sunglasses will do!

Sometimes the items in question are relatively cheap. I remember becoming positively evangelistic about a grease-busting kitchen detergent for a while but it wore of pretty quickly. On other occasions it can be more expensive. A couple of weeks ago I translated a brochure for a swanky aluminium pergola with drop down blinds and LED lightingand two days later the technician was measuring up to give me a quote. I haven’t received it yet but I’ll let you know. I can only hope that my translationsmake the products sound irresistible to potential customers so they that will send me more jobs and I can pay for this fabulous piece of kit!

Tourism is another of favourite subject of mine and my enthusiasm must shine through because I have always have plenty of travel and holiday-related texts to translate, and even the odd airline magazine. Tourist boards, multinational hotel companies, airlines and restaurants and trade fairs are big business.According to the latest report from World Travel and Tourism Council, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to world GDP grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2015, rising to a total of 9.8% of world GDP. The sector now provides jobs for a massive 284 million people, which includes us!

I was recently commissioned to translate a hiking and cycling guide for a small Mediterranean island. It was a dream job for me because I have visited this island and sailed around its coasts many times. The scenery, local architecture and cuisine are familiar to me. It was a trip along memory lane, and made me think about the special skills you need to do this type of translation. What the client wantedwas for me to paint a picture in potential visitors’ minds so that they will imagine themselves setting out on a perfect warm day, cycling along in a deserted landscape of junipers and fig trees among dry stone walls until they reach a secluded cove with pure white sand and warm, turquoise water where they will toss off their clothes and jump in for a refreshing swim.

That island is just a couple of hours away from here on the ferry. What do you think? Shall I escape for a few days? Nobody will notice I’m not here…

Juliet Allaway

Written by norak