A recent translation of a presentation prompted me to describe some aspects of this type of work, of which a unilingual person may not be aware. A conversation with the client revealed that the presentation might be presented in English but with the French version projected at the same time so that the participants (mostly French-speakers) would be able to follow.
Les diapositives anglaises étaient bien remplies, donc pas question de traduire textu sans rallonger la présentation. Il a donc fallu condenser pour laisser l’essentiel et retirer le bla-bla-bla.
Certaines traductions de titres étaient trop longues – j’ai dû les modifier et dans certains diminuer la police pour les faire entrer dans l’espace prévu.
Dave Paradi, a fellow Canadian has been sending me in the last few years his informative newsletter on ¨PowerPoint”. I have also used his book “Guide to PowerPoint” extensively. I would recommend it to any English PPT writer and to any translator.
Translation of this nature is akin to a pyramid which has to be deconstructed into its component pieces and then reassembled into its French equivalents. That is the reason I often remind my clients of a statement I borrowed from a friend and colleague of mine, Pete Peters, who worked in Quality Control at General Motors:
"Quality is never an accident: it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."