Translations and Cross-Cultural Document Help

Here’s a secret about translation: when you are fluent in two languages, it’s occasionally difficult to notice when your translation sounds awkward or to know how to fix this. Why? Because, in the translator’s mind, the vocabulary choice and linguistic structures of both languages sound “normal” — so a translator will occasionally let the source language influence the target language a little (or a lot) too much.

Sometimes, though, even a fantastic translation might still send the wrong message. This can happen when you or your translator aren’t aware of cultural nuances. For example, maybe the humble tone you use in your resume in Europe would sound “weak” to a U.S. employer, who has been socialized to prefer resumes that make candidates sound assertive and broadly capable. Or maybe your essay’s comments about money or gender roles would be seen as problematic in the West, no matter how expertly translated.

My role as editor, rather than translator, allows me to make your translation or cross-cultural document sound fully “native.” I am a multilingual, native English speaker from the United States with extensive international experience, training in translation, and a background in cultural studies. I have studied Spanish, Portuguese, and Quichua formally, and Mandarin, German, and Polish independently. I have an intuitive sense of “what you’re really trying to say,” no matter your native language — and I can help you say it in a way that truly leaves a good impression on a U.S.-based, English-speaking audience.