Tag Archive for translation

In het nieuws

Het gebeurt niet vaak dat vertalingen in het nieuws komen. Meestal is het werk van een vertaler onzichtbaar. Sterker nog, het is min of meer het doel van een goede vertaling om zo soepel te zijn dat je er niet uit kunt halen dat het een vertaling is.

Maar soms komt een vertaling toch in het nieuws. Héél soms omdat de vertaling zo goed is (bijv. de verfilming van de GVR), maar helaas ook soms omdat het zo afschuwelijk slecht is. Zie hier:

bad translation of brexit documentTrouw schreef er hier over:


Ik heb geen idee hoe deze vertaling tot stand is gekomen, maar ik hoop dat het geen mensenwerk was.

Machine translations

Sometimes I meet people who react surprised when they hear that I’m a translator: “Who needs translators in these days of Google translate?” Well, here’s an example. The first reader who actually understands what to do according to these instructions and did not burst out laughing while reading, will get a free translation.

DIY Diamond painting production steps:

  1. Open the box and check the diamond draw special tools
  2. View the resin diamond color, arranged in order of coding
  3. Uncover tape drawing above, you will see a lot of symbols corresponding to the color coding
  4. According to the corresponding color coded clamp the corresponding the resin inlaid diamonds
  5. Suggested that one type of the resin diamond one set completed faster
  6. In order to create a perfect diamond painting, drawings put together in one place every row symbols do not have to stay stuck diamonds
  7. To cut a good figure on the drawings hold sorted array mounted to the plane of the material above
  8. Splices need flat against the neat, do not have cracks
  9. after a good fight, the rest of the gap at the glue corresponding symbols of diamonds
  10. To complete a good diamond drawing, put it in your selection of a suitable framework (the restaurant does not provide a framework)


Welcome to the first post of this weblog.

Let me start this weblog by explaining why I want to start as a freelance translator, although I read everywhere that this is a difficult market to start in.

Due to circumstances (maternity leave and subsequently the end of my contract with the university I worked for) I had some time to think about new career options. I decided I want to do something I’m really good at, has practical relevance, has plenty of opportunities to fill my hunger for learning new languages and developing new skills, and has flexible hours so that I can also look after my three children.

In the past, I have done quite a bit of translating for staff members of my faculty. I discovered that I really enjoy doing that. Translation not only requires highly developed language skills in both your native language and the source language, but also requires a lot of creativity. My colleagues sometimes felt guilty when they asked me to translate something for them because they thought they asked me to do something rather boring. I never really understood that. It would be boring if you understand translation as a word-for-word process. Like the ‘translation’-exercises one often has to do when learning a foreign language. However, the work of a true translator is something entirely different. As a translator, you’re not only concerned about the right terminology and correct grammar. What makes it interesting is that language always is connected to culture. The author has written his text from the perspective of his own culture. The job of the translator is to transpose this text to the culture of the intended readers. Just a quick example: in German, especially in scholarly texts, it is normal to build very long sentences. If I would keep this sentence structure in Dutch, the Dutch reader would find the text utterly unreadable. In a Dutch translation, I would have to thoroughly restructure this. Or, when translating business correspondence, it is very important to correctly asses the level of (in)formality which is appropriate in a specific case. And then there always are those expressions and idiom which are simply untranslatable. This is where the creativity comes in. How do you translate those typical German or English expressions into a different language? You need to be a creative writer in the target language to be able to do that.

In this weblog I intend to address some of these issues as I encounter them.