METM18 presentation 

Say it differently: editing, writing and content design between cultures

Rose Newell, Berlin, Germany 

Professional translators, editors and writers often receive texts from clients that are best regarded as a work in progress. Perhaps the text was written in a hurry. Perhaps it is hoped we will smooth the edges in translation. Or perhaps major alterations are needed for the text to work in the target culture.
In these situations, it is our job – as translators, writers and intercultural communicators – to initiate those much-needed conversations and make the changes required to deliver results that work.
This presentation will prompt attendees to consider the situations where it may be better to rewrite or restructure content to meet client needs and increase attendees’ confidence in addressing these issues with their clients.
Through a selection of hypothetical and real examples, attendees are encouraged to identify and consider how they might address potential issues, including
  • conceptual/legal/cultural differences that render content inappropriate or irrelevant
  • heavy regional references that a foreign audience may not understand
  • key terminology, concepts and images that may produce an undesired response (amusement, offence)
  • poor design/structure that is inappropriate for the target market
  • content that is poorly structured, regardless of translation issues
  • imposed design/structural specifications that are too restrictive to be practical
Attendees will then examine mock conversations between a client and their translator, in which the translator raises and explains issues to the client, persuading them to take action.
This presentation is aimed at translators, editors and writers who work with direct clients and/or are in a position to engage in dialogue, contribute their expertise, and shape the final product. The topic will be of particular interest to colleagues who work in a strongly creative or consultative capacity (e.g. marketing materials, corporate publishing, transcreation, and non-native editing). 

About the presenter

Rose Newell is a Berlin-based, British-born copywriter, editor, and German-to-English translator with more than 11 years of experience. Working exclusively with direct clients, she describes her work as mostly high end, high tech, or high profile. Her clients include major consultancy firms, luxury real estate specialists, leading marketing and branding agencies, tech innovators, and a number of German, Swiss, and international household names.