In order to become a good professional translator, it is not enough to just know a foreign language. A lot of people believe that translation is just taking the words from one language and substituting them into other languages. However, this is not the case. A professional translator needs to have good knowledge of the source language and to have deep understanding of the cultural differences. Translation requires skills and experience in order to make the right analysis of the meaning in the target language.
As the world is getting more globalize, the demand for translation services is also getting hotter. A translator must have the knowledge and skill to translate documents that the target language readers can relate to. So what are some of the criteria that a good translator must fulfill?
Here are some of the criteria I believe a translator should fulfill in order to become a good one:
1. Able to read the languages. To achieve an accurate translation, the translator must be able to understand both the source and target language.
2. Able to write in both languages.A professional translator must know the style of writing when translating or editing a text from one language to another.
3. Able to use bilingual dictionaries. A good translator must be able to use the bilingual dictionaries as one word may have different meanings in different circumstances. So, the translator must understand the exact meaning of a word in a specific situation.
4. Able to listen. This means that the translator must have the ability to notice and pick up expressions and idioms, plus learning new vocabulary in different areas and knowing what context they are used in – slang, youth-speak, business etc.
5. Socio-cultural awareness. It is essential to gain an understanding of the socio-cultural dimension and its importance in providing a quality translation. This includes an understanding of what culture is and how it impacts translation.
6. Analytical skills. In order to translate a text, it should be first analyzed to understand it as fully as possible. In addition, the translator will decide upon style and terminology.
I think becoming a good translator is not something easy that can happen overnight. It requires a lot of training, learning and of course experience. Some people say that a good translator is born not made. But I think that the talent is just something that would easy your work when developing it.