Are you a creative enthusiast who is ready to put in a lot of work to achieve perfection? If you are motivated and have talent for writing and translating, in this article you can find out what it is that you need to do in order to fulfill your dream. In case you’re wondering what are the crucial professional skills and personality traits you need to possess to become a professional translator, keep reading this article and find out.
We could all ask translators at TheWordPoint for a piece of advice on this topic. These well-practiced, certified translators acquired all necessary skills over the years and are now experts in the translation field. TheWordPoint’s translation experts have been translating for years, and they prove their professionalism with every translation they produce. Their website’s layout is clear yet informative, and the information available about the services they offer is very precise and up-to-date.
So, if you are still thinking about becoming a professional translator, let’s start. First and foremost, as a translator, you need to have native-like fluency in the languages of your choice. The vast majority of translators translate from English to some other language, and vice versa, however, it is better to know more languages that aren’t so common, because then you know that this specific market isn’t saturated with translators. This can only mean one thing and that is you put more money in your pocket. It is not just about acquiring a certificate that proves that you know how to speak the language. An expert has to be well versed in idioms and collocations and to translate in the spirit of the language, so the translation doesn’t sound robotic and unnatural. To sum up, a great command of language combined with the cultural knowledge is what makes a good translator. If you are striving for greatness, study the language meticulously, read various magazine articles on different topics, look at complex scientific papers and read influential books to upgrade your skills. When you are ready to write a book in a language that is not your mother tongue, you know that you’ve mastered it.
The next skill that is equally important for a translator is being computer literate. It goes without saying that you will use Microsoft Office Word and desktop publishing on a daily basis. The more programs you are skilled in, the chances of getting a better translation job increase. It is that simple. Also, nowadays, most translators use CAT tools which are becoming an integral part of the translation process. The productivity and the quality of the translation are taken to another level with the assistance of CAT Tools. Instead of coming up with the translations on your own, the database of pre-translated translation units or Translation Memory is giving translation suggestions and improving the quality and the speed of your translation project. Also, being adept at HTML is a big advantage for a translator, however, it is not required. A translator who wants to excel at translation has to pay attention to keyboarding speed and accuracy, to reduce the time and increase efficiency. If you are hired to translate or localize websites, you have to possess the basic knowledge of the terms, understand the process of website localization and translation and what it really means for your client. For instance, focusing on website’s analytics, discovering what the keywords are and researching the market is just the beginning of the translation process that it is expected to be finished in a timely manner.
Creating an Effective Portfolio
Portfolio is like an ID card in the world of translation, as well as any other industry. You need to build up your portfolio and have work experience to gain credibility. Start working as an intern to gather work samples to put in your portfolio. Furthermore, promotion and the marketing of your services are of crucial importance for a beginner translator. You need to convince the clients that you provide high-quality translation services. Your portfolio should include the languages you are fluent or proficient in, the type of translations you’ve done so far (medical translations, technical translations, legal translations, literary translations, translation and adaption of newspaper articles), mention your area of expertise or a certain project you are proud of, provide web links to your best projects if it is possible, name the most prominent companies you worked in etc. If you choose this to be your occupation, try to participate in discussions and go to seminars. Be aware of the fact that you are competing against many freelance translators who work for less money which can be quite tempting to clients. It is important to know how to market and sell your high-quality products. You can do that by being assertive and associating with and introducing yourself to people who are important in the industry. Having a website where you can showcase your talents, prestigious awards and seminars you attended can also be a great way to increase your popularity and establish credibility.
Necessary personality traits
Essentially, you need to know the subject matter well, be open to suggestions and be thick-skinned to survive as a translator. This profession is great for people who are interested in getting to know another culture, who are curious and intelligent and have the ability to think on their feet. Besides profit, the biggest reward for a translator is the clients’ satisfaction after a professionally done job. The clients have absolute trust in their translators, and the relationship between a client and a translator is based on trust. A translator mustn’t be lazy, and has to learn and grow throughout his career. Great feedback from satisfied clients is the best way to impress others who might think of employing you. If you are committed to your projects, are ready to offer additional explanations and discuss the project with your clients, and do research on the topic before starting to translate, the clients will see your hard work and most importantly, reward it.