Nawalny’s speeches in court have appeared in my German translation!
Immediately before and after that, I translated mostly poetry and songs, so I had to switch gears to be as precise as possible – without losing expressiveness. These are political speeches, not legal treatises, but every word could be legally significant (so I had everything proofread by Pavel, who specialises in legal translations). And to be on the safe side, I made back translations for particularly important passages.
Which reminds me: I’ve been meaning to explain back-translation here for a long time. In this process, a text that has already been translated is retranslated into the original language by another translator. The goal is for the client to check that nothing relevant has changed or been lost in translation. Thus, it’s a method of translation quality control (especially as far as the content is concerned). Back-translation is often used in law and medicine, but I have experience with it in relation to journalistic translation. For example, interviewees often want their interview, which is to be published in German, translated into English so that they can see from the back-translation whether everything is correct. In transcreation, too, a back-translation is often requested: you must be quite free here, but the clients want to know exactly and literally what the translation says.
In the meantime, I have learned to restrain myself when back-translating and not to improve even the smallest stylistic flaw, which I usually do automatically – after all, a back-translation serves to evaluate translation quality. And while I’m at it, I can also spare the client the analysis and write a translation evaluation myself: this is, if the translation is delivered anonymously and I get to see the original after the back translation is ready.