The term “translator” is an elusive one, considering there are many forms of translation. Generally, when we hear that word, we immediately think of translation from one language to another. While the term encompasses that as well, it is hardly fair to limit it to just that, seeing as by definition – conveying the meaning of any said data to something understandable to its interested audience – is the very act of “translating.”
Since the robots haven’t yet taken all our jobs, considering becoming a translator is very much a viable dream. Here, we will try to put forth information about what it means and what it takes to become a translator.
According to experts at Architekst, a professional translation agency, translation for medical documents requires an acute translation memory. A translated medical document is only worth the read if the entirety of the document maintains coherency. Therefore, having a translation-memory-software within arm’s reach could prove highly beneficial, especially if you’re aiming for consistency.
This perhaps is one of the most challenging forms of translation and yet is broadly neglected in this field. Financial translators are often experts in finance and they are to have years of experience in the field for them to be considered qualified translators. Here, the key to success is confidentiality and conscientiousness. The client’s financial information and the company’s sensitive data call for a translator who knows the value of privacy. They also need to be up to date in the ever-growing world that we live in. Otherwise, they’ll fall short in adding new terms and expressions to their already overwhelming glossary.
This one encompasses a whole range of documents that are part of a judicial proceeding. From birth and marriage certificates to criminal sentences, legal or sworn translators are responsible for familiarizing themselves with documents of this nature through and through. Any shortcomings regarding a client’s translation can be detrimental to the client.
Chances are you’ve come across countless “terms of service” documents and never even bothered reading them. You most definitely aren’t the only one guilty of this. Studies show that more than 90% of all translations fall into this category. Statistically, 40% of folks in this field have at least a bachelor’s degree, primarily in the field of education.
Instruction leaflets, manuals, and administrative terms are a few notable documents that are also falling into technical translation. Perfecting one’s craft in this field requires years of experience. To some, their work has become their second nature due to the sheer volume of repetitive documents they encounter. Therefore, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the types of technical documents specific to one’s area of expertise in order to gain an edge over competitors.
This type of translation is unequivocally the most challenging one out of the group. To the uninitiated, literary translation isn’t all that complex; you see a text, you interpret it using a dictionary, right? Far from it! Literary translators are experts who have seen countless literature pieces and their eagle-eyed attention to contextual meanings behind texts makes them stand out from the rest of the group.
First and foremost, they have to be able to perceive and convey the document’s semantics with ease. As they say, practice makes perfect, so if you think this is for you — start reading. Another characteristic of experts in this field is their ability to recognize polysemic words. These are words that can have multiple meanings, and depending on the time a document was written, the true meaning of such words might only be discernable to experts of the literature of that specific time.
Above all, the translator should be familiar with the writing style of the original author. It is no secret that everyone’s writings enjoy a different texture and flow. So, in essence, being able to translate an author’s work professionally doesn’t necessarily make you an expert when translating other authors’ works.
Like any other line of works, being a translator requires immense dedication and determination. You don’t simply become one with a blink of an eye. You need to put the time in, read as much as you can, immerse yourself in the target language, keep on learning, and practice what you’ll learn along the way. Most importantly, you have to be able to enjoy it. For this to happen, you need to incorporate it into your daily life and make sure to make a habit of it.
Being a translator is not a job for everyone. However, it’s highly rewarding to those who are determined enough to get the right skills. We guarantee that after you find your area of expertise and keep mastering it, your profession will become more interesting to you.