Do you want to attract the English market?
It is critical that your website sounds like it was written by a native English speaker. A technically correct (or word-for-word) translation can come off as being stilted, as though written by a computer or someone who knows the language without having grown up in it, and lived it. Modern English may seem like a very simple language, but the subtlety of its idioms are far from evident.
The aim of the best translation is to maintain the sense but also the feel of the original text, for it to sound to the target language audience as it does to the original audience. Even given all the history that French and English share, each culture has very different expectations. As a very general example, French literature and culture in recent years allow for more abstraction; English literature and culture prize concreteness and specificity.
I am happy to cater to your needs for either a literally exact translation or a feeling translation that will convey to an English audience what it might have sounded like to a French or Spanish audience. Often it is a question of finding the right balance, so that it is literal enough that it conveys the sense, without losing the feel.
All of our translations are verified by native speakers so that they sound natural in the target language. This approach allows us to guarantee the "meaning" of the original but convey it in a way that creates a connection with the reader in the target language.
Sometimes translation is not enough and the text would benefit from being reworked as an original document in English, so that it appeals to native speakers on an intuitive level. I can also help with that.
Q: How does the translation work?
A: We usually translate texts in two stages. The first pass is a very literal word-for-word translation. This is familiar to many who see commercial translations on the internet. The second stage is a natural language version where we adjust the first translation to sound natural to an English native speaker. We can provide both texts to you but we only acknowledge the second.
Q: Why do you do native language translations?
A: Simply because that's what we believe in. There are already a lot of other people offering word-for-word translations but we find that these do not communicate to people as well as translations that feel like they were originally written in English. There is a lot of competition for every word online. For a small translation that only serves as an in-house memo, a native language translation may not be necessary. For anything that is going to be read by a larger public, that public will have more faith in companies that have language that sound like native English.
Q: I've already translated my text but I need someone to review it? What is your process?
A: This depends on how confident you are in the translation. If it is a language we work with, we are happy to compare the translated text with the English text as we go. Be aware that this is a slower process and will result in more billable hours.