Important Attributes for Professional Translators

Published: 14th September 2011
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There are many popular services that a professional translator is offering to their clients. Although some may involve simple services, such as Website translation services, many translators also offer sophisticated services which may require more skills and experience to achieve.

Translation as a Profession

Translation is a term mostly used to define a process of the transference through text to text of the source language and the target language. Although it is similar to that of interpretation, translation and interpretation are different terms used for different purposes. While translation deals with text and document translations, interpretation involves the facilitation of oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between two, or among more, speakers.

Practitioners of translation are known as translators, and being a professional translator many involve a number of important attributes which plays vital roles in their profession. Here are some of those professions:

Important Attributes of a Professional Translator

One important attribute of being a professional translator is to possess a very good knowledge of the source language, and an excellent command of the target language.

According to many professional translators, it is important for translators to have an even greater knowledge of the target language than the source language. This is the reason why most professional translators are those that offers translation services into their own language, or their native tongue. This is because it is rare for someone to possess fluency of his/her 2nd or 3rd language rather than their first language.

Another important factor of being a professional translator is having a background experience of the task at hand. Familiarity of the subject matter allows translators to possess the knowledge of how to translate important terms which is unique for a specific task, such as in Legal translation services.

Other important factors include a profound understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlates between the two languages, and a finely tuned sense of when to metaphrase ("translate literally") and when to paraphrase, so as to assure true rather than spurious equivalents between the source- and target-language texts.

Translators and Bilinguals

According to many experts, being a bilingual doesn’t make them a professional translator, although this may help in providing translation services into multiple languages. This is because of the nature of the different skills that each possesses, bilinguals and translators are not equally prepared to perform document translations.

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