Creativity is a crucial point in today’s life. We are in the “social media” era, everything has to be appealing to the eye, instantaneous or done in the least amount of time. COVID-19 changed our lives completely, so, now, more than ever, we have to be creative to be able to stay afloat.
For translators, being creative is also a part of the job. Some may think that being creative defeats accuracy because they assume that accuracy is only achieved with a literary translation, and if a translator goes away from it they not being accurate. The fact is, in a lot of cases, a literary translation is not acceptable because it does not make sense in the target language and it defeats accuracy. In our job, accuracy means that we have to convey the same message as the original and cause in the target audience the same impact the original message caused in the source audience. But, sometimes we need to be creative. Some words have no direct translation, so we have to be creative and find a way of translating them, and that means that, sometimes, one word in the source text becomes a 3 or 4-word expression in the target language. Idiomatic expressions are another situation where translators must be creative. Some idiomatic expressions have an equivalent in other languages, but others don’t and when they don’t we have to be creative to translate them properly. We cannot be literal but we are certainly being accurate.
Literary translators are some of the most creative in our profession. Translating literature is very complex, and for the message to be accurately conveyed, sometimes the translator needs to be very creative and find the best possible options to translate that message, being accurate and loyal to the author’s work. Cultural accents and other marks need to be transferred in a way they make sense, because different countries have different cultures and what makes sense in a country may be unknown or even offensive in another, and a translator needs to know that and translate accordingly.
Most translators are also entrepreneurs. We run our own business and for that we need lots of creativity. In today’s world, an entrepreneur needs to be creative to catch their clients’ attention. A simple ad in the newspaper or TV is not enough. We are in the social media era, people want something visual, people want something interesting and usually, the old fashion ads are not seen as the best thing. So, we need to reinvent ourselves and go towards those expectations.
As translators, we usually don’t have a lot of “visual” content to show. We work with texts and our work is confidential, so we cannot show it to the public. We can still create visual content to promote our services and our business. We can create videos talking about our industry or making our advertising campaigns on social media. Most of all we need to create content that is visually attractive and interesting to our clients.
Our websites must also be engaging and visually appealing. They should be easy to navigate and very informative, so the client gets the most amount of information in just a few clicks. People don’t like complicated and hard to navigate websites if they find too hard to look for what they want, they simply go elsewhere.
Recently, with the global pandemic, people must be more creative than ever. Some businesses had to reinvent themselves and the way they did business to be able to keep going. Some have lost clients, others had to close down. If there is a time to be creative, now it is that time.
We must understand the best way to get clients attention and be creative enough to present ourselves to them effectively. Sometimes, that means doing things a bit differently, offer services differently or even add services to our menu. Create partnerships with other businesses offering the clients a different type of service. In the end, the possibilities may be endless, it all comes up to our creativity to make it happen.