It’s not actually that easy to select our favourite translation projects 2015. One of the best things about life as translators is that, alongside our specialisation in texts on financial, real estate and general business topics, we also have the pleasure of working on texts from a range of genres and with a varied range of subject matter. At this time of year, as 2015 draws to an end, we thought it would be fun to pick out a few of the translation projects we have worked on that have stood out for us personally.
Favourite translation projects 2015 – selection criteria
The criteria we have applied as we have chosen our favourite translation projects 2015 are entirely subjective:
- maybe a specific project was particularly challenging and therefore all the more satisfying when we (and our clients) were happy with the end result, or
- the subject matter was extra-specialised and therefore extra-interesting, or
- a well-translated text received extremely positive feedback from a client (leading to more commissions), or
- something else that simply stands out as we reflect on the work we’ve done this year.
Read on to find out which translation projects have made it on to our favourite translation projects 2015 shortlist.
Ballast water contamination systems
This translation was for a client that manufactures a unique system for dealing with ballast water contamination on large, ocean-going vessels. If we’re honest, we’d never given that much thought to the problem of cargo ships taking on ballast water in their port of departure (laden with bacteria and other micro-organisms) that needs to be treated before it can be released in their port of destination in order to avoid any risk of introducing non-native organisms into the environment. The translation required a fair amount of careful research and the final product was particularly satisfying given the hard work that went into it. And the client was very pleased, too!
Adverse weather and off-shore wind installations
Continuing the maritime theme, another really interesting project involved the translation of an agreement on compensation for days lost to adverse weather during the installation of off-shore wind turbines. This also involved a lot of preparatory research before the actual translation work began. The project’s tight deadline ensured that adrenaline levels were high throughout and the translation was gratefully received by another happy client.
Back on dry land, we were busy translating texts for a client in the packaging, recycling and waste management sector in order to publicise the expansion of their scheme for collecting expired and surplus medication from pharmacies. The aim was to grow the scheme: to attract new partners and more pharmacies, and expand availability internationally. With the help of our translations, our client is well on the way to achieving all of their goals.
We translated documents relating to a patent dispute involving one of the world’s largest technology companies this year. We can’t disclose the names of the companies involved as proceedings continue, but it was exciting to play a role in such an important case (however small) and gain a bit of an insight into how the case was developing. As translators we always take our responsibilities very seriously and are committed to delivering the best translations possible, whether we are working for a major multi-national or a mom-and-pop store down the road.
Another global player we have translated for this year needed a number of contracts translated from German to English and we were more than happy to oblige. These ranged from general terms and conditions to framework purchasing agreements and framework agreements with subcontractors.
Real Estate Newsletter
Some translation projects are one-offs, others involve regular and on-going work. We translate a number of regular newsletters, particularly for our real estate clients, and our favourite appears every two weeks and provides non-German speakers with an overview of Germany’s major real estate news. The text is delivered on a Friday evening and the translation takes place over the weekend as the finished text is required on Monday. The reason this is one of our favourites? Because we translated one edition while the client’s regular translator was unavailable and the client was so happy that they switched to us on a permanent basis. We also love the newsletter because of its mix of topics; from market reports to opinion pieces, from economic developments to political controversies—this newsletter has it all. As Friday evening approaches, we never quite know which topics will have been chosen by our client’s media screening team, which creates a welcome element of surprise.
Minutes of board meetings
One of our clients, with a parent company in an English-speaking country, need the minutes of their board meetings translated into English to be sent halfway around the world to their head office. As with all of our clients, we are sworn to secrecy and treat every aspect of their business with the utmost discretion. Still, it’s another translation project where you really develop an insight into the client’s operations and value their deep trust in you. When you have clients who trust you this much, you never want to do less than your absolute best. Although the texts are not (at least objectively judged) the most exciting, we picked this client’s projects because we like the way they do business, enjoy the contact we have them and appreciate the fact that they value our work. All very important factors!
Favourite translation projects 2015 – Other highlights
It’s not often that you are involved in translating an academic paper on sado-masochism in the works of two of Germany’s major authors, so that’s definitely a highlight from earlier this year. Academic translations are always an interesting change of tone and style. We love putting our academic hats (or should that be mortar boards) on, which is why translating texts for one of Germany’s major colleges of art was also really enjoyable this year, particularly as the arts, whether visual, contemporary or fine, are among our favourite subjects. We could never translate too many texts on artistic subjects!
Although 2015 still has a couple of weeks of life in it, and we are continuing our translating and teaching work over the festive season, it’s never a bad idea to look forwards as well as looking back. We hope that the range of texts we work on in 2016 is as broad, multi-facetted and interesting as the translations we worked on in 2015.
We thank our clients for the continued trust they place in our services and look forward to serving them as effectively, efficiently and productively over the next 12 months as we have done in the year now drawing to a close.
As the new year begins, we look forward to continuing our work with the clients who have been with us from the very beginning, making sure that our more recent clients are as happy with our next translations as they have been with our work so far, and hope to help new clients as they look to communicate more effectively with English-speaking audiences.
Who knows? Maybe there’s even a new client reading this right now!
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