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Translation

The essentials:

Translation is the act of taking a document written in one language (here French) and recreating it in another (here English). Both the source-language message and the demands of the target language must be respected. I translate strictly from French into English and strictly in the biomedical field. Translation (which concerns written communication) should not be confused with interpretation (which concerns spoken communication). I do not offer interpretation services.

Billing is normally based on source word count, meaning the number of words in the document to be translated.

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Translation is for you if you would like your message to be available beyond French language nations. Translating into English is the logical choice; your message will be available not only to native English speakers but also to all those who speak English as a second language. As I mentioned earlier in my website, English is now the ineluctable international language, especially for the sciences.

Translation also allows for message coherence; information that you consider as vital will be received equivalently by French or English speakers.

I employ a multi-step methodology that assures the delivery of "ready to use" documents whenever possible. My graduate and post-graduate degrees in technical and biomedical translation have provided me with the tools for avoiding translation's numerous pitfalls. I have also consolidated my experience since the start of my freelance activity in January 2004. You can count on me to faithfully transmit your message to your English speaking reader.

Good translation demands a double fidelity. First to the author, by respecting the message that he or she wants to transmit in the text, and second to the English speaking reader, who should be able to read and understand the author's text naturally, without a feeling of something being odd or amiss in the document. Fidelity to the reader is often neglected and is one of the main reasons why some documents "seem translated". At best, this is a distraction for the reader, at worst it can make the text unintelligible. In either case, it is certainly not what the author, nor the reader, wanted. Put simply, good translation is invisible; your English speaking reader should not be aware that he or she is reading a translated document. An invisible translation is virtually always my goal.

However, there are situations that call on literal or even word-for-word translation, for example back-translation. I can of course assure literal or word-for-word translations should you need them.

I do not use machine translation tools (not to be confused with CAT tools, see below). In my opinion, if you are serious about managing your international communication, these programs designed to robotize translation should not be used. It will be interesting to observe the evolution of machine translation and considering the leaps that we have seen in I.T. these last few decades it would be wise to never say "never". However the obstacles are numerous, starting with the fact that language is subject to the analysis, the interpretation and the imagination of both the speaker and the listener. Those are pretty difficult things to transfer into binary code.

Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, can, in certain cases, be somewhat useful. However I do not habitually use them, because I believe that any translation must be considered in its totality and in its own context.

Translation is the major branch of my professional activity.

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