On the face of it, translation may seem like a simple job. One might think that it is all about converting words from one language to another. This statement is undeniably true, albeit only partially. Replacing words is just one aspect of translation, which indeed is relatively easy. What is challenging is to retain the depth, warmth, tone, and tenor with which the source text was written.
In addition to the above, it is also imperative to keep the flow of ideas smooth and inquisitive enough to keep the readers engaged.
All of the above certainly requires a few must-have qualities every translator should have in order to do justice to their job.
If you are on the lookout for human translators, you must ensure that the one you hire has the 4 uncompromising qualities mentioned below:
Given that one is looking for translators, one may find the above point too obvious to be mentioned. However, this blog has it at the top for a very specific reason.
The translation industry is undergoing a boom. This year, it is expected to touch an overwhelming $39-billion mark and outrun other industries in terms of growth. This has led to more and more people entering the field to fill the void, which, of course, has resulted in a larger volume of inexperienced and unprofessional translators.
Anyone who can speak more than one language does not necessarily become qualified to translate. Nevertheless, the growing demand has brought many to pose as translators.
It is always good to test the skills of a translator by giving them a page or two to translate before hiring.
Language skills are of prime importance; however, what immediately follows this key quality is subject knowledge, if not in-depth, then, at least fundamental. This is because every field has certain jargons, signs, and symbols without which one cannot explain the intended meaning. Law, healthcare, IT, and sociology – all require a different set of subject knowledge to do the job professionally.
Not having proper knowledge of the subject of translation is bound to seriously limit the translation quality.
As translation is much more than replacing words, good cultural knowledge holds the key to a high-quality translation output. A fair knowledge of culture comes in handy when choosing between formal or informal register, or in translating proverbs and phrases. For example, every dog has its day is a proverb that holds a positive meaning in the west; however, mentioning a dog or using it as a simile for humans may offend many in different regions and cultures.
Often termed as cultural intelligence, the skill is extremely important to produce tailor-made, high-quality translation, suitable for everyone across the globe.
Last but not least, professionalism is the most crucial quality of all. This is because no matter how skilled a translator is, if they are not professional, nothing will work. Meeting deadlines does not depend on skills, but on discipline and time management.
While hiring a translator, it is always good to assess them from a professional point of view. A few meetings and a sample translation work may give you a good peek into their professionalism.
To sum it up, apart from language skills, there are other key qualities that are expected of a translator to do a commendable job. Bablic has more than 100,000 native speakers and professional translators at your service at amazingly affordable rates.
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