06 Sep Requirements to Become an Expert Translator
An expert translator is not just a guy who knows Dutch and another language, and it takes much more than that in order to be accepted as a translator with us. Here are some of the skills an expert translator needs to have.
Skills of an Expert Translator
Ethics are essential in translating. Preserving confidentiality, and delegating projects to other translators when one is unqualified are much needed traits.
- Networking skills:
Oftentimes, translation is done through virtual teams, where they coordinate and help each other improve their works. Project managers must manage large groups of linguists. Freelancers have to market themselves to others. Thus, social skills cannot be stressed further in importance.
- Attention to detail:
All translators have to be keen in details. This profession might be best for those who become frustrated at the sight of apostrophes used wrongly. Proofreading and revision skills are must. This blog will guide you through common errors of grammar.
Since translating is quickly changing, translators should ready new skills and services to remain competitive in the field. These skills may include copy-writing and transcriptions.
- Organizational skills:
The profession of translating is often driven by deadlines. One must be able to work efficiently towards targets. Thus, time management and initiative cannot be stressed further.
- Writing skills:
Since translators are professional writers, knowledge of one’s language is a must. This includes impeccable grammar and vocabulary. It is recommended that translators read frequently and practice blogging or writing. Also, spelling is extremely important for translators, since a display of wrong spelling leaves a negative impression. A great test to challenge one’s spelling is the Oxford spelling test.
- General knowledge:
This can come quite handy for translators. It can help one correct mistakes in text. Some translators read the news every morning since it may come up in their work.
- Analytical skills:
Translators need advanced skills in analyzing so they may understand how their text operates. Once hey understand, they can easily translate their findings.
- Research skills:
Translators often receive varied specialized text. Thus, they must find reliable sources of information and vocabulary. Sometimes, translators can even be caught calling a friend for help!
- Subject knowledge:
Possessing subject knowledge on specific topics is always an added bonus to translators. One might be knowledgeable in engineering or medicine, or even sports! Reflect on the different topics you are knowledgeable of, and try to translate them to other languages!
Curiosity is a great characteristic to have when translating. It aids in learning new skills, and motivates research on different topics. Ultimately, it will get to the gist of your client’s needs.
- Excellent knowledge of the foreign language:
One must have a good grasp of another language to translate well. This includes understanding sentences and their underlying meanings in varying context. Reading different books and viewing TV shows in your foreign language helps a lot.
- IT skills:
Translation has become increasingly influenced by IT, with its constant use of email and unique software. Since software often develops quickly, one must always be up to date.
- Picking up new ideas quickly:
When freelancing as a translator, one cannot always anticipate correctly what arrives in their inbox. What are some of the different ideas translators encounter from day to day?
- Good cultural awareness:
Understanding language does not only deal with language alone. It also involves becoming aware of its culture. Different locations may present different meanings regardless of their spelling. ‘Banlieue’ in France and UK vary greatly in meaning and connotation. It translates to suburb, and connotes poverty in France.
- Love of reading:
Wide reading is essential when in the field of translating. It ensures that your writing style is refined. Read good books and journals. A few translators even get hired to read books, so they may comment if they are worth translating!
As you can see, knowing two or more languages doesn’t make anyone an expert translator. We at DutchTrans only employ professional translators and our screening process makes sure of this fact. If you are a translator looking for translation work feel free to contact us and send us your CV.
Translation is one of the challenging careers to get into, but with the right qualifications and credentials, you will find opportunities. And once you prove yourself as an expert translator with specialist knowledge, you can expect to see more work and carve out a good career for yourself with a reasonable income and work flexibility.
As you grow as a translator, there are other fields to recognize as well. What specific industry or industries can you translate for? Are your computer savvy and educated regarding translation memory software? Do you keep up with industry trends? If you have had success as an expert translator, maybe you could consider expanding and becoming a certified translator. If you are working in a specific field, you should be keeping modern with the latest release, trends, rules, and technologies. The more information and knowledge you have, the simpler it is to translate texts correctly and with authority.