Being a good translator isn’t just about having the qualification to translate or the knowledge of being acquainted with 2 or more languages. If you are experienced, you would realize that the work doesn’t involve just decrypting information, but also some amount of skill and ability to understand the context. The wall of text or audio given to you will look intimidating until you break the process and look into the intricacies. Yes, it is a very challenging job and requires you to be talented, creative and patient. The power of knowing too many languages is a pretty sassy attribute to have.

As translators, you need to permanently develop innate skills to keep growing as and when the translation industry sees a change. You need to have the ability to stay connected with two or more languages and their cultures. To help you get there, we are listing out 6 important skills a translator should possess.

  • Excellent native language command

In order to have the handiness to type continuously and be a good translator, one must have extensive knowledge over their native language. You must be able to speak; write and read your mother tongue. Your target audience are people who have years of experience in reading and speaking it, so command over the same is an absolute necessity. If you cannot reach the expertise of your readers, then getting your clients to be satisfied with your work would become a huge challenge. A translator who aspires to become efficient in what he/she does should always remember this as their thumb rule.

  •  Cultural Difference expertise

Knowing about different countries and having a wide know how on the cultural variation is definitely a very big advantage if you want to become a good translator. You will be connected to the cultural beliefs and the do’s and don’ts of cultural variations. Even though your job requires you to just translate, if you know that a particular word would upset a cultural group or if it’s a misfit, you can definitely notify your client and avoid the usage. This will automatically get your client to believe in you and your flair. There have been many translational blunders made in the past that has affected a company or an individual’s cultural reputation. So, be aware and be acquainted with the culture of any language you are working on.

  • Excellent second language command

A good translator doesn’t replace a word while translating it to another language. Sometimes machine translation does that and gets everyone in trouble. When you are manually translating a document, you must be affluent in both the source and target language. Source language is the language from which you are translating, and target language is to which you are converting. Meaning, if you are translating from Spanish to English, Spanish would be the source and English would be the target language. If you are fluent in both languages, it would be a cake walk. If you are only ‘almost’ talented in your second language, then you would only be able to translate from your second language to your native. You can’t promise to translate to any other language because you would always end up having doubts.

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  • Avid researching and learning skills

Research, Explore, Study and Implement!

If you are just starting off in the translation industry, the foremost thing you should do is to have your questions answered. And how would you do that? It can only be achieved by researching and getting down to the subject matter. You need to learn the local jargon, terminologies, words, concepts and more. You should be able to dig and absorb whatever you think may fit your needs. Learning is a process and we all learn every single day. There is so much out there about translation that you might not know. So, don’t hesitate to explore.

  • Great Computer and Software familiarity

Well, don’t you think anyone who has a little knowledge can tell you about how important computer and typing skills are? To be able to be a good translator, you need to type and just type away. It works as a great advantage if you can type faster and learn the intricacies of a computer or the other tools associated with it. You should also give yourself the benefit of acquiring familiarity of the software you might use for translation. In simple words, it makes it easier for you in keeping up time.

  • Importance on Observation and time management

Observe what you should deliver. Let’s say your client has looked up for same day translation service online and your work comes up. He goes through your reviews and likes your work accuracy.  But what if you don’t impress him to keep up with time? Every job is bound by time management. We keep learning about time management from our school days. From having to submit an assignment on time to having to finish a deadline, we all are stuck in the wheel of time. Likewise, a translator must be effectual with time. If you promise a deadline, make sure you are done. A lazy employee is never preferred.

You need to be productive and need to do that in the time allotted to you. If you think there could be a lot on your plate and that you are just starting out, it is absolutely okay to reject or deny projects that come your way. No matter how busy you get, the client’s projects have to be submitted before its deadline. This will definitely keep you in the good books of the clients. 

Diligently following all of these pointers and making sure you stay true to your efforts. We wish you a great translation future ahead!

We, at Vanan Translation, give you the opportunity to translate and make a living out of that. Looking for freelance translation work, contact us!

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