"Joe Williams Translation - making the complex comprehensible"
Deep down, underneath it all, I’m actually a very sensitive soul with a profound need to express and articulate my deepest desires and emotions. In parallel to being a freelance translator, I’m also a literary editor, podcaster and avid reader of literature and poetry, in English, Portuguese and Spanish. I trained as a classical guitarist as a teenager and studied music for two years at A-level (high-school) level (BTEC National Diploma in Music Practice, in those days).
I’ve been working in languages since 2012 when I got my first graduate job teaching English in South Korea. Since then, I have worked as an English teacher in the U.K. and Vietnam, worked in international development in Guatemala and remotely, graduated from an MA programme in translation studies and learnt Spanish and Portuguese.
I’m most commonly found working on academic and non-fiction texts, especially social sciences and humanities. Clients include the University of Deusto and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as well as several direct clients in academia. I’m also confident at the more creative end of the translation spectrum and find corporate and marketing texts a delightful creative challenge, giving me chance to apply the more artistic techniques I’ve acquired via my literary background (literature is a passion of mine).
I thrive in communicating ideas and concepts and using the right language to facilitate end-users’ comprehension of the text. Exploiting linguistic resources to respond to diverse ranges of communicative needs is what I do.
As a writer in my native language, this is how I would describe my style
I like to think of translation as a problem-solving activity. When solving linguistic and communicative problems (or challenges, as I prefer to call them), flexibility is vital; a translator must be sensitive to the original author’s style and voice and the expectations and requirements of the reader, while finding a way to mediate between the two parties. This requires a negotiated approach that satisfactorily reformulates a text according to the end-user’s needs without compromising the original author’s intended meaning. As context is crucial here, there are no golden, essential rules for achieving this, beyond due diligence in reading and versatility in writing. Perhaps my writing style as a translator can be best illustrated by way of analogy, namely via Bruce Lee’s famous adage that Jeet Kune-Do was a “style without a style.” Be water, my friend, be water…
Joe’s work as a translator from Spanish and Portuguese is sublime, including with advanced literary texts. Joe really seeks to understand all the nuance of what he is translating, and he consults to find ideal solutions. I have a very high level of confidence in his ability and the choices he makes as a translator and recommend him unreservedly.