Generally, translators have different ways of dealing with texts that can change based on several factors: level of experience, type of text being translated, size of text being translated, familiarity with the topic, available resources, available time (closeness of deadline), and personal preference.
In the event of taking on a large translation job, it is wise to keep in mind a few things along the way:
It is essential not only in the field of translation, but also for almost any profession to consider dividing up working into manageable chunks. Creating milestones is a great way to cross tasks off a list and know where to go next with the project. It is important to know how much work you have to do and how will you do it. How to align the work with the client’s schedule in order to meet a deadline is also a critical consideration – especially in the translation profession.
However, if any work is finished earlier than expected, it would be best to begin working on the next milestone right away rather than slowing down. This provides an extra time cushion in case any delays happen later on in the project.
We are human, after all. Even with a huge portion of translation work being done on a tight schedule, translators should still take a break every now and then to maintain the quality of work. Food and drinks should never be forgotten, especially when working overtime and with a heavy workload. Coffee or tea may boost the translator’s speed and efficiency from time to time, but should always be consumed in moderation. Food may also replenish lost energy and help maintain the translator’s momentum.
While the Internet is an essential tool for translators, it may also lead to heavy distraction, unwanted wasting of time, and may slow down the translator completely. It is wise to isolate the workspace from any possible distractions and reduce social contact as much as possible when working to prevent any unwanted distractions. Computers and mobile devices should only be used when needed.
CAT tools or computer-assisted translation tools, in general, are inaccurate and may produce poor results. However, with large projects in which time is limited, some translators use CAT tools and check, re-check, and evaluate the results after. This may lessen the time needed to complete the job and, at the same time, make it generally easier for the translator. At Executive Linguist Agency, our translators never use CAT tools on any of our translation projects – large or small.
Lastly, loving the work and how you work may be the best aid for tackling large translation projects with the least amount of stress. If a translator enjoys the work despite a tight schedule and strict deadlines, he or she may work faster, think more clearly, and produce better quality translations.