4 Translation Skills All Translators Need But Most Bilinguals Lack

Anyone who is well educated speaks two languages will have the skills needed to produce good translations, not yet nine, not a chance. In fact, very few bilinguals have the combination of skills needed to be a professional translator, and this article is going to show you why that is hi. I’M Dennis Brown and our company has been providing translation and interpreting services to clients across a range of business sectors.

For over 20 years, I’m going to quickly cover four essential skills, translators need that will prove my point. First up the obvious one advanced language knowledge to translate. Well, you don’t just need a good knowledge of the language you’re translating from heck. No, you need an excellent advanced knowledge of that language. Why? Because without it subtle and even not so subtle, nuances of meaning will be missed, and if you don’t fully understand the language you won’t ever be able to translate accurately now.

The problem is, if we don’t speak the other language ourselves, we tend to assume anyone who doubts as brilliant, but in fact they could be mangling the language big time and have just the basic or intermediate understanding of that language, and that’s simply not enough to be A translator, you need near native ability. The reality is the very few people learning a foreign language ever reach this advanced level.

So this translation skill has just eliminated a fair percentage of our bilinguals hasn’t it. Secondly, excellent writing skills to be a good translator. You can’t just be an adequate or okay writer in your target language heck. No, you need to be an excellent writer, a wordsmith. You must have a way with words, be able to write with flair, pizazz Ellen. Why? Because your texts need to impress readers across a variety of styles, for example, marketing texts, formal or legal documents, casual or colloquial language, technical texts and so on.

Now this effectively excludes most of the popular nation right we tend to think of writing ability as something you either have or you don’t, but in fact it’s first developed over many years in the indication system and then honed with further experience and that’s why it’s extremely Rare for someone to become a talented and error-free writer if their education wasn’t conducted in that language, which is why professional translators translate only into their native language or, more correctly, the language they were educated in not under the second and third languages simply put.

Unless someone has excellent expression and writes particularly well in their native language, they won’t have the basic skills needed to work professionally in the translation field. So there goes another decent chunk of our bilinguals. The third skill is attention to detail. Good translators invariably have certain personality traits. They have excellent attention to detail that are naturally needed to solve translation difficulties and by nature a highly accurate, systematic and thorough good translators are perfectionists who take pride in their professionalism and and the quality of their work.

So why is this a big deal? Because, if they’re not like this, they won’t have the inherent focus and application needed to ensure their translations are always fully accurate and well worded. That’S why people who tend to favor quantity, over quality or speed over accuracy seldom make good translators. The work can be fine, sometimes, but won’t be up to scratch at other times. So, as in any population sample, many bilinguals simply aren’t the right personality type to be good translators, there’s a whole file more bilinguals eliminated.

Finally, something that will be less obvious and okay, I admit, isn’t really a skill of sites, but still vital number for sound translation and review processes. People frequently underestimate the complex mental processing that translating involves. We have another article covering this, but essentially translators need to simultaneously juggle meaning vocabulary, choices and differing grammar systems.

Every time they translate any chunk of text doing that to correctly convey the required meaning and, at the same time, produce well worded text phrase after phrase. After phrase without fail is a challenging task, and the upshot of that is that, unless translators use down methodology, the translations can have shortcoming, sometimes serious. Essentially, they either won’t be fully accurate, and/or well worded.

So good translators always follow a well-established and robust translation process, which includes very specific self checking and review steps. Now, here’s the thing professionally trained translators have this methodology drilled into them in their translation degree courses, but some are not professionally trained as unlikely to instinctively adopt these processes they like to. They have rather weak quality control checks, which will inevitably lead to issues of accuracy and poor expression.

So am I saying that any bilingual who hasn’t undergone specific translator training is unlikely to make a good translator pretty much? There will be the odd exception. Of course, people who instinctively work things out for themselves and follow good review processes, but my 20 plus years of experience tells me the vast majority, don’t know dear. We don’t have many of our bilinguals left to e, so that’s it.

Our four essential translation skills. That explained why most bilinguals aren’t automatically good translators check out our blog article, if you want a more in-depth version and we have other articles of practical use to business clients you’ll find of interest. If you enjoyed this article, please give us a thumbs up and consider. Subscribing to our youtube blog and of course we have other articles you might like as well thanks for reading

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