If a picture is worth a thousand words, aren’t we, as translators and wordsmiths, in the wrong business? Not necessarily, but we certainly can benefit from what we learn from other professions and industries, especially those that are primarily concerned with marketing and pictures, such as graphic design.
How can we make our products better market and promote themselves? How can our translations contribute more to our success as translators? What makes the quality of our verbal translations speak more clearly – more graphically – for itself?
As translators, we deal in essentially verbal products, but present them to audiences that often think in nonverbal ways. Our clients’ language incompetence opens the door for our business, but it is also a handicap that makes it difficult for our products to be perceived and judged on their own merits.
For me, putting myself in the shoes of a nonverbal client is an amusing way to methodically piece together various elements and principles. This can help us become better translators and achieve more success in the translation business. In my presentation, based on the soon-to-be-finished book, “The Nonverbal Translator,” I focus on the verbal and the visual in translation, addressing some practical examples and explaining certain concepts originating in the field of product and communication design.
Valerij Tomarenko is a German to Russian translator based in Hamburg, Germany. Besides IAPTI, he is also a member of the German Translators’ Association (BDÜ), where he is in charge of social media for BDÜ Nord, and of the Association for Technical Communication (Tekom). Valerij has been contributing articles to various publications on the translation business and writes about translation-related subjects in his blog “Anmerkungen des Übersetzers” (Translator’s Notes).