The A1 1-to-1 approach
"1-to-1" on two levels: Firstly, I offer a personalised service. This means I'm directly available to discuss the intricacies of the job in hand. And if you like my style, you can rest assured that it will be forthcoming each time you enlist my services. This is a sheer impossibility with larger agencies, which commonly have dozens of free-lancers on their books and essentially function as "wholesalers", buying and selling translations as "bulk goods".
Secondly, I define my holistic understanding of the translation process as the "1-to-1" approach. Obviously, this does not simply mean "word for word" - there are plenty of ill-conceived electronic dictionaries out there to fill this dubious "niche". "1-to-1" here refers to the art of transporting content, style and context as an organic whole. This often entails the difficult and apparently contradictory balancing act of translating " freely" in order to home in on the essence of what requires to be communicated.
For those visitors to this site who have a command of German and English, I've fished out a sample translation of mine which I believe illustrates this conundrum particularly well. Deceptively light-hearted in tone, it allows the translator free rein, but in so doing harbours the customary potential pitfalls - the context is not immediately apparent, requiring a degree of "thinking between the lines", and capturing just the right tone is vital - too "downbeat" and the intended 'punch' of the German will be lost, too "upbeat" and the overall impression can quickly become facile or even absurd.