At Camelback we use a radically different approach.
We call it “team translation.”
It is this surprisingly rare method of translation which allows us to be, to our knowledge, the only translation company in the world with a money-return guarantee. Here is how it works.
Team translation at Camelback involves two people working together simultaneously on a written translation project. One person is a native speaker of the source language (the language we are translating from) who can also speak the target language (the language we are translating into). The other person is a native speaker of the target language who can also speak the source language. These two people interact intensely, speaking both languages while translating, discussing every sentence, every clause, every phrase, and very often, individual terms and words. In this process we make extensive use of resources including the internet, hard-copy dictionaries, and our own in-house three-language glossary of terms. We then review each translated sentence, and only go on to the next sentence when both people agree they have it right. We have often heard people say, “Oh, that can’t be translated.” We at Camelback don’t know what they mean. Yes it can be translated. And we can do it.
So just to make it clear, if we are translating a document from Chinese to English, we will team together a native English speaker who knows Chinese well with a native Chinese speaker who knows English well. The native Chinese speaker interacts with the English speaker, ensuring that he fully understands the meaning of a sentence, including its grammar, tone, style, idioms, and any underlying cultural features which are relevant to the translation. As the Chinese speaker explains, the English speaker types and puts this meaning into natural, accurate English. The Chinese speaker looks at the sentence being created and makes sure that the new sentence contains all of the original meaning and nuances. Here is a picture.
At Camelback, we don’t use a “tag team” method in which one person translates the document alone, and then later have another person, working alone, review the translation. Although that would be better than just one person doing the whole job alone, it consistently creates and leaves significant mistakes in the translation. Tag team is a common method in so-called “Professional” or “Championship” wrestling. In reality, if both wrestlers ganged up on a single opponent at the same time, they would nail him. That’s what we do.
We believe that the only translator who works alone who has a chance to match us for naturalness AND accuracy is someone who has two mother tongues (two native languages) and is translating between the two. It is not because we are so gifted at language that we say this. It is because we use a simple and obviously wise method. We honestly don’t understand why more companies don’t use team translation.
Regarding the above, and just for the record, there are on this earth almost no individual adults who speak both Uyghur and English as native languages. (There will be some in the future). There are many who grew up with Chinese parents in England, Australia, the US, or Canada, who speak Mandarin Chinese and English both as mother tongues, but often they are way out of touch with contemporary language and culture in China, and even more often, they can’t read and write Chinese. Native Russian speakers who grew up in China are now almost gone, and there are just not many native Chinese speakers who grew up in Russia.
Thus the need…for a team.