Freelance Dutch Translator
Suzanne provides a bespoke translation service, working closely with her clients to get the best result. Each project is unique and will benefit from its own individual approach and solutions.
Recent projects of note include:
• translating all materials (excl. website) into English for the newly opened
Engelandvaarders Museum in Noordwijk, the Netherlands (2015);
• translating reviews of contemporary art exhibitions in the Netherlands for Art
• The Netherlands in 26 Iconic Objects ed. Wim Brands & Jeroen van Kan (Amsterdam
(2016), Balans) - three stories: Goat's Hair Socks, Croquette and Wash Mitt;
• Water by René ten Bos (Amsterdam (2014) Boom) - chapter 2, 5, 6 & 9;
• The Nymph and the Bunny by Merlijn Schoonenboom (Amsterdam/Antwerpen
(2015) Atlas Contact) - fragment;
• Up Closer by Wieteke van Zeil Amsterdam/Antwerpen (2015) Atlas Contact) - fragment
• Roaming the Anthropocene by René ten Bos (Amsterdam (2017) Boom) - chapter 1
• Pilgrim by Philip Dröge (Houten (due 2017) Unieboek Het Spectrum);
• Mismatch by Ronald Giphart & Mark van Vugt (London (Feb 2018) Litte, Brown)
She is currently working on Giant Tuna: Unfolding the Global Powers Behind the Fish
We Love by Steven Arnold for Springer Life Sciences (due spring 2019)
'Suzanne’s translation of the bestselling Dutch title Mismatch for the English language markets produced a book that was much more than a flat, thoughtless conversion. She remained sensitive to the authors’ style at all times but worked closely with them and with the publisher to ensure that examples and wording that might not fit a wider market would be adapted appropriately.
Her thorough approach to researching original sources and quotations meant that I could have total confidence in the accuracy of the book we published, and without fail her suggestions for tweaks improved the book without fundamentally changing what had made it successful in the first place.
She is a pleasure to work with and I would not hesitate to recommend Suzanne or to use her again for future translation work.'
Editorial Director, Little, Brown Group
The process of translation
If you are unfamiliar with the process of translation, this is what it involves. Many people think it’s simply a case of substituting a word in one language for another. If that were the case, machines could do the job perfectly well and there wouldn’t be any need for human translators. The reality is more complex.
Language is a living thing used by living beings. Machines don’t understand that words and phrases can have multiple meanings, that meaning depends on context. And context is to do with culture, which is what comes from sentient beings interacting together.
A good translator will have his or her antennae finely tuned to the culture and meaning of words and phrases, and how they are used in both the language s/he is working from (the source language) and the language s/he is translating into (the target language). S/he will be sensitive to the kind of language used in the material (the register) to be translated and make sure the translation reflects this.
Bearing all this in mind, a good translator will then sharpen and fine-tune the translation until it becomes fluent, stand-alone material in its own right, avoiding at all cost anything that even vaguely resembles ‘translatorese’.