Jonathan Bruton DipTrans IoLET

German-English translator

What makes a good translation

Translation is an art form. It follows that being a translator - in my case from German to English - means engaging in an act of creation, of authorship. A good translator takes a text, penetrates deeply into its meaning and creates a text which, although based on the source, looks, feels and reads like a text that was originally written in the target language.

A good translation flows. A document translated, for instance, from German - the language with which I work - into English should read as though it were written in English. This may sound obvious, but in my experience the work produced by many translators all too often reads as if it has been slavishly rendered from German, which makes it sound clunky and unnatural. The hallmark of a good translation is that it isn't recognisable as such.

I believe this can be applied to any text: a contract, a press release or a description of a work of art. I speak from conviction and experience, having translated all of the above on many occasions.

If you are looking for a translation from German to English which doesn't sound like a translation from German to English, then read on.

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