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BhavanaBy Bhavana Kumari 

Power and politics are two core factors which define the significance and longevity of any society and culture. “Translation has been a major shaping force in the development of world culture” (Lefevere/Bassnett 1990:12). From Ottoman Empire to the Czar, from Tang Empire of China to the Maurya Empire in India, every empire’s glory and ruin story is understood by studying the power politics of that particular period. They might be sharing some common features and might differ on many fronts. Translators and their translated texts play a very critical role when these stories are used in inter-culture interaction discourse. Translated texts are referred for political aims and motives. They are misused and even criticized.
 
As Van Dijk mentions, ideology is nothing but the amalgamation of “basic beliefs that underlie the social representations of a social group”.  And it is these ideologies that are scripted by the distinguished writers and scholars and recorded for centuries. As there used to be court historians in the past, there were also court translators, who translate the original texts in the other language and helping in spreading the ideas and thoughts of the empire to transnational boundaries. Role of translators has always been appreciated as well as questioned by the different units of the society. Their laborious and noble efforts were acknowledged and praised but in some cases the biasness and too much loyalty for their masters were also criticized. Hegemony, norms, language and target group are the constraints linked to the power politics happening in translation.

There are many reasons because of which misinformation might happen. Sometimes because of lack of knowledge of source language and the target language translators just provide the summary/gist of the original work; omission of main points which is not significant as per the translators and leading to discontinuation in information transfer; and translators’ biased social embeddedness, social status and non-neutral contacts. Translators are sandwiched between the power holders and the power seekers.  
 
Translation is the reflecting image of the original texts. It helps a person from different culture, society and even time period to gain knowledge and learn from the existing literature and find solutions to his/her problem. The lack of inability to access the original text is fullfilled by the work of translators and through their translated texts.

Power relations have always been there in the society where any one hand is trying to subjugate or overrule the other. It is a continuous and unending process. Great Chinese leader Mao Zedong talked about the concept continuous revolution. He was influenced by the communist thoughts which were given by the Karl Marx in Germany. Karl Marx wrote in German language and as per the European circumstances. It was the translators who interpreted the idea into different languages of the world and Mao learned it in Chinese. Applied it in Chinese society as per the local circumstances. Ideas flourish and they might have different spectrum but the basic core remains the same.
 
If one talks about the Hindu methodologies, many of the ancient Hindu holy texts are written in Sanskrit, the language of elite scholarly class. It was difficult for layman to understand the essence of those texts. Later it was translated into other national and international languages and knowledge was exchanged. Today approximately three hundred versions of the Indian epic poem, the Ramayana, (originally titled Kaavyam Ramayanam Kritsnam Sitaayaas Charitham Mahat) are known to exist. The oldest version is generally recognized to be the Sanskrit version attributed to the sage Valmiki. Same with the Mahabharatha (Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty).  In both the ancient epic poems the politics among the families and power relations among the societies are shown. While translating it into other languages translators play an important role. Translations also enrich the culture and societal system of the target language.  It inputs more knowledge to the existing literature. Translators play every effort to interpret and reinterpret the original text in the target language in the best of their knowledge .Finally it is up to the society how they accept the work.
 
In concluding words, translators play an inseparable role in the field of exchange of knowledge between two different culture, polity and society. Translators are the first linguists that have access to the original text, their work and knowledge is definitely of great significance. It is such a tedious job that one has to have knowledge of everything if he/she is into this profession. A single mistake can create trouble especially in the case of political and military texts translations. The meaning which is not being conveyed properly is said to be lost in translation.  Translator and interpreters are supposed to do thorough research on the topics that they are working on. So that the outcome result would be the best reflection of the original text. And the meaning is conveyed without any differences.

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Author: Anubhuti Gupta
Visibility in the social 
and professional sphere is immensely important for any professional. The professionals are required to be visible and known in their particular business field and that circle to ensure one job security. Freelancers have to work on this extra hard since to there is no company or a brand name to back them and add to their resume. Freelancers represent themselves and are a brand name to own self.  Personal branding for translators, especially freelancers is a very important aspect and if done right enables them to build many clients. There are various things a freelancer can do to be visible to the prospective clients.
First and foremost, the translator needs to be very clear about their own identity and skills. And they should be broadcast very clearly leaving out any ambiguity. For example, mentioning the jobs a translator can undertake very clearly like book translation, transcription, subtitles, back editing etc.
Along with the work that can be undertaken, a freelancer needs to be specific to their specialized fields like legal, finance, IT, general etc. It’s better to restrict the specializations to 4-5 fields as it establishes the authentic and genuine nature of the translator.
The Translator should also know what they are worth and the rates of their services should be fixed. It can be as per hours, pages, words or project.
Having said the above, a translator needs to grow their professional network which is only possible when they take up more and more work. The more work a translator takes up, the more they have to list in their experiences and more number of contacts in their contact lists.
The translators should identify their goals. Having clear and achievable goals is the basis of your personal brand. Goals help to monitor your progress and understand if you are on the right track with your promotional efforts. As a rule, the primary goals are to earn more money and find better clients. However, your goals should be more specific, measurable and achievable.
The next step after setting up the goals is to identify your target audience. In the case of freelance translation business, we can easily identify two major groups: direct clients and translation companies. Translators may try to target both groups but you should understand that it will take more time and resources to achieve good results. Moreover, not every translator is ready to work with direct clients. Cooperating with a translation agency is easier: the agency takes care of management and administration issues; it provides translators with more or less regular workload and secures payment, etc. Many freelance translators never work with direct clients and prefer stable cooperation with reliable agencies.
 
Building one’s own website will give a translator visibility. A personal website is more than just a portfolio. It’s their online headquarters – a powerful tool to represent oneself on the web, attract new clients and run a marketing campaign. Many translators have personal websites, however, according to a recent survey, 41% of translators don’t have any. So if translators want to stand out with their freelance translation business, they should start building their website today.
What more a translator can do to strengthen their network and increase visibility is blogging and social networking. Translators can develop a content plan and try to post at least twice per month. Even if they are extremely busy with translation tasks they will definitely find some time to write one new article in 14-days period.  They can try to identify the main problems of their target audience and provide helpful answers to resolve them and then promote their blog on social networks, forums and other related resources to increase the reach. A single well-written article can bring a new client when promoted to the right audience. Networking also is an important component that will help build a strong personal brand. A couple of hours per week can be allocated to improve the social media presence. It is hard to find a person who is not using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn nowadays. One can create a Facebook page, develop a perfect LinkedIn profile and set up a Twitter account to promote one’s services, share useful stuff with one’s followers and attract new clients.
Lastly, one needs to know that personal branding is not a static image; it is a dynamic representation of their business that should be up-to-date and always relevant to the target audience.
The above-mentioned content refers to personal branding and increasing the visibility which will get new clients but retaining the old clients is just as important. This can be done by always following the deadline and in case it is not being possible then it should be immediately communicated to the client honestly and clearly. Apart from that, a translator needs to be at the beck and call of their old clients and if by any chance a call is missed or a mail is not immediately replied to, getting back to the client with a strong reason can help the case. Also, appreciate any feedback from the clients and work on any criticism if any after the completion of the task.
Thus, a translator needs to take the above-mentioned steps to get a hold on their market and doing this with a right amount of professionalism will be immensely helpful. Therefore, the quality of the work should never be compromised and a translator needs to keep in constant touch with the changes in their source and target languages. Attending seminars and conferences once in a while will help in this.
 
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