Important Attributes of a Fully-Competent Translator

Published: 21st September 2011
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What are the kinds of necessary attributes required to become a fully-competent translator? Translation as a profession is a very complex career, particularly because of it requires one to be as competent as possible so as to accurately translate one language into another. To become a fully-competent translator, it may require more skills than a typical professional translator.

Important Attributes to Become a Professional Translator
According to many experts, to become a professional translator, one must possess a number of attributes which will allow them to have the ability accurately translate the source language into the target language.

Knowledge of Both the Source and Target Languages
Although its important for professional translators to possess excellent command of both the source and target languages, majority of today’s professional translators are known for their good knowledge of the source language, but an even greater knowledge of the target language. This is the reason why most professional translators usually offer translation services into their own language, or their first language.

The idea behind this is that a person who had achieved fluency of his/her 2nd or 3rd languages other than their first language is rare, and only a full-competent translator can offer such services to its clients.

Knowledge of the Task
Another important attribute that professional translators are known for is their background experiences of a specific task. From as simple as Website translation services, to as sophisticated and sensitive as medical and Legal translation services, translators must have at the least a background experience of handling these tasks so as to accurately translate the language as well as its unique terms.

Other Important Attributes
To become a professional translator, one must also possess a deep understanding of the etymological and idiomatic relationship between languages. This allows translators to accurately translate not only the words but also the idea of that specific task.

In addition to that, translators must also possess a keen sense of when to metaphrase, which is to translate literally, and when to paraphrase. This is to assure true rather than spurious equivalents between the source- and target-language texts.

Additional Attributes for a Fully-Competent Translator
According to experts, a full-competent translator does not only possess excellent command of his first language but also other languages. In addition to that, these professionals are not only known as bilinguals, but also bicultural which allows them to accurately translate one language to the other while preserving its idea.


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