What is Translating actually?
At best, a good translation does not read like a translation. At the same time, the author’s own personal voice, especially in novels, should not be lost. However, sometimes this isn’t easy. Translation is quite a complex process that cannot be done just “on the side”. It is not about translating words but translating the meaning, at the same time keeping in mind who this translation is meant for. Is the relevant text meant, let’s say, for a purely academic audience or for Andy Average? Translation requires not only a very good knowledge of the languages involved but also a feeling for the text, specialized knowledge of the subject and the ability to think one’s way into the subject as well as a knowledge of strategies for solving translation problems. Training at a university e.g. is a good basis for this profession.
A look into my translator’s workshop will give you an idea of the work of a professional translator. Unfortunately, for the time being, it is available only in German.