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Reading the Text Before Translating

The translator starts the first stage of the translation process, the understanding stage.

The purpose is to extract all content and expressive value to then reformulate them in the target language. Capturing and understanding the text does not end the communication process opened by the author. Instead it restarts it and the reader/translator becomes  a spokesperson for the author of the original text.

At the same time, the reader/translator becomes the author of a text in another language. The translator is also an unusual reader in the sense that he or she has to read in a language other than their native one.

In each of the first two stages, understanding and re-expression, the translator must have a linguistic competency that is optimal in both languages and, of equal importance, a broad wealth of knowledge. The translator must work hard on being the best reader of the text. On the first reading, the translator familiarizes him or herself with the text in its setting. Textual problems (related to lexical elements or unfamiliar concepts) require a specific solution. Extratextual problems (related to the desired motive and function of the translation) influence on the translation strategy adopted in consideration of the text in its totality.

An intense reading is the basis of a syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic analysis of the text.