Having worked as both a Project Manager and an In-house Editor here at Trusted Translations, I have come across quite a few interesting requests. While we usually deal with typical Word and Excel documents, PDFs, and other types of editable files, sometimes, we receive scanned items, illegible handwritten notes, tables full of numbers and abbreviations, and more. Many times these are of legal, medical, or marketing context. These are all quite common. But every now and then we come across documents that are quite strange!
For instance, because we deal with many legal documents, sometimes we have to translate witness statements. These are very interesting as they deal with a person’s first-hand account or point of view of a specific situation. With these, we have to “get into the mind” of the person to truly translate what they meant to say. Oftentimes, these texts can contain very little context; for instance, referring to another person or place (a store perhaps) we do not know about, using slang, etc.
A couple of times, we have received requests to have pictures of tattoos translated. Can you believe it? These requests may come from government agencies performing background checks or even people curious to see what a friend’s tattoo really says. Tattoos with Asian symbols are quite popular in the United States, and so many times we receive requests to have these translated into English. This includes Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and all sorts of other languages.
Other times, we have had to translate text messages, Whatsapp messages, emails, Facebook messages, and more! Like the witness statements mentioned before, these are many times requested by lawyers or government agencies dealing with lawsuits and the like. These messages may include threats, evidence of stalking, bullying, and more.
And probably the most fun thing to translate are love letters. Sometimes, these are quite old and other times, more recent. The older love letters are sometimes requested at the hands of family members who wish to know more about certain deceased or elderly relatives. Other times, couples involved in relationships with people from other countries need help in deciphering their loved one’s words.
This goes to show, one should not worry about what type of text or document they wish to have translated. We promise to do the very best we can. After all, at this point, we’ve seen it all!