Translating any text from one language to the next is no child’s play. You must be thorough with the details and willing to go step by step or end up with a script that doesn’t reflect the source text. Transliteration gets even more challenging when working on two languages with wide variations, e.g., Myanmar to English.
This means the translator you hire must be fluent in both dialects and understand the technical differences between them. Their final work must:
- Retain the meanings and context in the source document,
- Be as accurate as possible 98 to 100 percent
- Flow naturally
- Match your specific instructions.
So what’s the catch when turning text from Myanmar (or Burmese) to English? Why should you hire a freelance translator instead of using an online tool? And What else should you do to guarantee project success?
In this article
- What is Burmese/Myanmar
- What does a Translator Do?
- How to find a Myanmar/Burmese to English Translator
- Types of Translations
- What to Look for in a Translator
What is Burmese/ Myanmar
Burmese is the language of Myanmar, Originally Burma, a nation in Southeast Asia.
Nevertheless, an impressive 2.4 million Burmese speak English as their first or second language. This figure makes up almost 5 percent of the population.
Locals term their dialect Myanmar English.
Is Burmese/Myanmar Hard?
According to the Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI) list of language-difficulty, it takes approximately 1100 hrs to achieve general proficiency in spoken and read Burmese.
Though this places it above languages like Spanish (600 hrs), it’s still easier than Arabic or Chinese, which eat up to 2200hrs to learn.
Myanmar to English: What does a Translator do?
No matter the languages involved, an interpreter plays a significant role that they must execute accurately. This job consists of turning or converting written scripts from one language to the next.
Perhaps the most crucial qualification is that the translator be fluent in both languages. This is so because languages vary in sentence structure, phonology, etc. The more fluent they are in both lingo, the more natural and accurate the interpretation will be.
However, knowledge of both languages is just a basic requirement. More crucial to project owners is the translator’s ability to understand the small niceties and symbolic use of words.
In other words, a translator should convert text from another language to their native dialect. For instance, for Myanmar to English translations, the expert must be a native English speaker or have complete command of the language. That way, it’s easier to focus on the variations and develop a script that reflects the source text.
When you hire a translation expert, their job is to:
- Read and understand all the project instructions
- Cold-read the script to familiarize with the dominant theme
- Go through the script a second time to capture all the niceties
- Translate the text to the desired language (per the client’s needs)
- Compare the original document versus the interpreted work
- Edit and fine-tune the final script
Tip: Remember, your job as the project owner is to provide detailed instructions and a clear source text. It’s also a good practice to stick around in case the translator needs any clarifications.
Myanmar to English: How to Find a Burmese to English Translator
There are two options when looking to outsource a translation job to a third party. You can either contract it to a freelance translator or hire an online translation service.
Whichever approach you choose, it’s crucial to understand how they work before sharing the source text. Here’s everything you need to know:
Just like freelance writers, solo translators are independent or self-employed workers. They bid and work on projects from multiple clients. Often, these freelancers are linked to professional websites or agencies from where they source work.
For instance, they may register on a platform like Bunny Studios to meet with potential clients.
Apart from connecting translators to project owners, these freelance platforms also:
- Serve as quality control
- Test any wanna-be interpreters for the skills they claim to have
- Do continuous talent development
- Act as the intermediary between the worker and employer
- Ensure all clients are satisfied
On the flipside, solo translators work alone. They search for clients, market their skills, win projects and manage themselves. Both experts are equally good at their job as long as you search in the right place and test the skills upfront—request samples or links to any previous work to gauge their know-how.
Clients prefer working with freelancers and solos because this approach is more affordable. Some prefer an intermediary (e.g., a freelancer website), while others love to work directly with the interpreter.
Remember, if you choose the latter, you handle everything, including salary negotiations, work management, communications, etc.
A Translation Service
A professional translation service handles all the work for you. They have expert translators who understand the niceties of the job.
If you choose this approach, be ready to pay non-negotiable preset rates. In exchange, you get an accurate natural-flowing script.
Nevertheless, you must provide as much detail as possible. This will ensure you get the right expert for your project, and in the end, desirable results.
Also, confirm whether the service offers the type of translation you’d like (as we shall discuss below).
Lastly, you want to check for factors like:
- Speed or turnaround time
- Document privacy
- Cultural knowledge
- What languages they specialize in
- What people say about the service
- How much the service charges
Tip: Whether you hire a service or freelance translator, always ensure a human does the work and that no machines or software are involved. These tools can cause errors, change the meanings and lead to robot-like translations.
Types of Myanmar to English Translations
What type of translation are you after?
Translation can range from simple interpretation work to technical stuff like legal document translation that requires attention to detail.
Remember, these projects vary in nature. It would be best if you were as specific as possible to get a customized script.
Below are the eight common types of translation:
- Technical: Translating official text, g., instructional books, internal memos, medical works, financial books, minutes, etc. It can also mean working on technical documents from industries like IT, engineering, crypto, etc.
- Scientific: A branch of technical interpretation focusing on scientific journals, articles, statistics, etc.
- Financial: Handles documents tied to banking, money, stocks, etc.
- Legal: Deals with converting any legal documents, e.g., corporate statutes, certifications, etc., from Myanmar to English.
- Judicial: Translation jobs for works recorded or used in court, e.g., interrogations, court proceedings, judgments, etc.
- Juridical: This type of job involves translating legally binding docs, e.g., business contracts, accords, and insurance documents.
- Certified: It involves doing translations of civil status docs, divorce papers, marital accords, wills, etc.
- Literary: This involves familiarizing yourself with the semantic content of the source text before translating it.
Tip: When sharing the project details, be sure to categorize it under one of the above tags depending on your specific needs.
Myanmar to English Translations: What to Look for in a Translator
The person who translates your document must have the skills and experience to do so. It’s crucial to develop your selection criteria before embarking on a talent search.
So what are some of the things to assess when vetting candidates for your next project?
1. Cultural understanding
Is the candidate familiar with Nyamnar culture?
This is important in understanding symbolic language and ensuring accurate translations.
Their English language culture know-how should also be at per.
You want someone comfortable translating information from one language to the next in a manner that locals can relate to.
Do they have any experience handling similar projects? Do they have any samples to prove their professionalism?
If yes, for how long have they tackled legal translations? Are they familiar with the latest trends and rules in translation?
Hence, if you want a legal document translated from Myanmar to English, ask if they’ve done such work before.
3. Fluent in both languages
Preferably, the right candidate should be a native Burmese speaker. The mere ability to read and understand Myanmar isn’t enough.
You want a natural, someone who’s meticulous with the details. Not a freelancer who’ll exclude a section just because that part doesn’t make sense.
Tip: Beyond fluency in the source language, the translator must have total command of English. The final text must be correct in grammar, spelling, context, flow, etc.
Freelancers can be a tricky bunch. Meet one who’s a chronic procrastinator or poor at client management, and the experience is a total nightmare. Therefore, monitor their responsiveness right from the first engagement.
How long do they take to respond? Are they available on multiple communication platforms?
If you meet them on a freelance website, remember to check out feedback from other clients.
It’s crucial to work with a freelancer who understands the importance of keeping all client work confidential. All business, financial, legal, juridical, and judicial texts require total privacy. You don’t want to have your documents roaming the internet without your permission.
Be sure to discuss special terms if they have to use your work as a sample in the future.
A Final Word on Myanmar to English Translations
When looking to outsource a translation job to a third party, you have two options–either contract it to a freelance translator or hire an online translation service.
Whichever approach you choose, it’s crucial to understand how the service or translator works before sharing the source text.
It’s essential to develop your selection criteria before embarking on a talent search and choose the most qualified candidate. The person who translates your document must have the skills and experience to do so.
Lastly, your job as the project owner is to provide detailed instructions and a clear source text. It’s also a good practice to stick around in case the translator needs any clarifications.
Do you need help with Myanmar to English translations?
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