I work in En-Fr but I thought my question might beneficiate everybody, especially beginner translators. A few weeks ago I translated a lot of [customer name has been edited out due to privacy reasons] articles, and on one job (words that have a different meaning when you have siblings) I encountered an issue: puns.
What it usually means: A large firearm which shoots a number of small, spherical pellets from a fixed shell.
What it means to siblings: What you have to shout every time you get in the car so that you can get the front seat. The rules must be obeyed canonically unless you lose, in which case you must run to the car and steal the seat anyway. This will almost always result in a massive fight.”
The problem was that “shotgun” in French doesn’t have that other meaning and I couldn’t come up with anything close enough. I ended up “rewriting” parts of that job by choosing another word for the pun, in order to get something that would make sense in French. Since the client’s comment specified that they want the translations to make sense in the target language rather than being literal, I thought it was okay.
Any advice? What could I do better next time?