Over the last few days I was working on a comprehensive wedding speech assignment. I had to translate the speeches of several family members of the bride and groom either into English or into German since the bride was German and her parents and grandparents didn’t speak English, while the groom’s Best Man didn’t speak any German. I must admit that I love wedding speech translations. They have always been one of my big favourite translation projects – no matter whether it is a translation into German or a translation into English. In either case it is a challenge to convey the feelings of the person giving the wedding speech into the target language. Particularly, if it is a Best Man’s speech, which is almost always a very humorous wedding speech and quite often full of tricky phrases and wordplays that would completely lose their meaning in a literal translation. And not only that, they wouldn’t be funny anymore!
Every person giving a wedding speech always wants to express something they feel quite deeply about the bride or the groom or both of them, something that they think could contribute to the very special and festive atmosphere of the wedding celebration and the happiness of the bridal couple, their families and guests. They know that they can express this in their own language but if they don’t master the language that is not their mother tongue then they rely entirely on the skills of the translator to get their message across in the translation. That is why I always feel somehow honoured in having been chosen to be that translator. Please don’t get me wrong: I like every kind of translation and I always do my very best for each and every client no matter what the subject of the translation into German or the translation into English may be but with wedding speech translations there is very often something quite special happening. It is probably the fact that these translations are used for a very happy and joyful occasion and that the clients who are giving me the translation assignment are generally very excited about their speech at the wedding and inclined to communicate with me, as the translator, about the speech texts in order to make absolutely sure that everything goes really well and that all text ambiguities are clarified. And so far everyone was extremely happy that they not only received the wedding speech translation in writing but also a free mp3 recording of the wedding speech translation so they could practice their speech in the language that is foreign to them since they could listen to the right intonation of the words and phrases. Having the opportunity to practice their speech in the foreign language also made them much more confident to give their speech and helped to ease the anxiety that a speaker might naturally have with regards to this unusual task.
To cut a long story short I must say that I had some very pleasant telephone conversations or email correspondence with clients who needed their wedding speech or Best Man’s speech translated into German or English during the course of the translation project. I also quite often received some very positive and grateful feedback from these clients after the wedding and their deliverance of the wedding speech. All in all I must say that for me these wedding speech translations are always fun to do and on a personal level very rewarding.
If you want to have a look at an example that a client kindly allowed me to publish then click here or if you’d like to read what people have said about having their wedding speeches translated then click here.