Translation is thought to be one of the top 10 most in-demand skills of 2019. But what does that mean for you and your translation needs? What qualities should a good translator possess? Keep reading to dive into the world of translation and what it takes to be a great translator.
Speaking and understanding another language does not mean someone is a translator, let alone a good one. Truly understanding the scope of the work at hand and having subject-matter-expertise are just two of the many skills a great translator must encompass.
Qualities of a Great Translator:
- Source Language Knowledge – A great translator needs to have a strong understanding of the source language to be able to properly grasp the meaning of a certain phrase or word. After all, translation is more than just the transformation of a word in one language to a word in another language. A translator is also responsible for translating an idea and conveying a message correctly from one language to another.
- Subject-Matter Expertise – Having knowledge and expertise of the subject being translated is vital. Although it isn’t necessary to have a master’s degree in medicine to translate healthcare content, understanding how the human body works, awareness of common medical terminology, and knowing general health concepts are critical. This will enable a translator to deliver an accurate translation and keep research to a minimum.
- Research Skills – Subject-matter expertise can only go so far. It is sometimes necessary for a translator to do additional research on a topic to ensure the translation is correct. This is where strong research skills will come in handy. Utilizing resources should also not be overlooked. Knowing who to turn to with a specific industry-related question and understanding what resources are available will greatly aid in a translator’s ability to translate efficiently.
- Native Speaker – A great translator must be a native speaker of the target language to ensure a sound knowledge of the language’s culture. With the art of translation encompassing more than just linguistics, it is critical to be able to culturally adapt the information as well.
- Communication – Professional business communication is key when working on any project – translation or otherwise. It is important to communicate openly regarding deadlines, budgets, progress, and any potential issues. Keeping others informed is crucial to any translation project’s success.
- Willingness to Learn – Over time, it’s valuable for a translator to continue to learn and grow. Processes, tools, and workflows all change on an ongoing basis, so it is vital to commit to studying, learning, and expanding knowledge.
Although these are just a few of the significant qualities a great translator must possess to be successful, there are many more skills and attributes that are valuable. General writing capabilities, translation qualifications, and a passion for language should not be overlooked.
Accurate translation plays such an essential role in any company’s success. That’s why it’s imperative you work with the right team of individuals who will not only understand your business, but also have the knowledge to complete the project accurately and effectively.
Here at Vocalink Global, we take pride in the great translation team we have on board. We do our due diligence in making sure we’re working with the best of the best to properly serve our clients. If you’re interested in joining our translation team, connect with us today!