Top 16 Tips for Becoming a Good Translator

Translation is a rewarding and satisfying profession that requires exemplary skills. People often wonder how they can become good translators. Experienced translators often say that this is a field that’s based on knowledge coupled with experience. It is also a field that has extended periods of apprenticeship. This may not be a very easy path to follow. Nevertheless, you can achieve the expertise if you follow the well-trodden path. Here is useful advice from professionals to help you get started on your journey to becoming a good business translator.

1. Become a lover of language, more so your own. And don’t stop studying it.

2. You need to be a good writer. Learn good writing skills and habits.

3. Study and learn about your passive language and the community and culture it originates from.

4. When translating, only do so in your mother tongue.

5. Choose a specialist expertise area and study it. And be ready to learn a lot about your specialist subject. Your efforts should be constant.

6. Listen to the radio, TV, family, friends, and even strangers in bars, shops, and on the streets as they speak.

7. Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars in your specialty area. Listen to how the experts speak and grasp their language. Learn their jargon also, but try not to use it.

8. Stay updated with current affairs.

9. Acquire up-to-date and functional IT skills.

10. Practice and develop your skills, and stay focused on your training.

11. Listen to what you write. Also, learn to read your text loudly to yourself. Each language has its rhythm, and if yours doesn’t sound correct, try altering the order of words and not just the wording.

12. Find a good spell checker software and use it consistently but carefully.

13. After translating text, print it out as a hard copy, and read it before handing it to your client. Do this always, especially when using a computer-aided translation software.

14. Ask yourself whether what you have translated makes sense. If you reach a point where you wonder what something means, then there is a problem you need to tackle.

15. Your writing should be concise and clear. Ensure you use the required length of sentences and paragraphs for the target language. Avoid using sophisticated vocabulary. You can express even the most intricate ideas using simple, straightforward language.

16. If you find any ambiguous wording, mistakes, and typographical errors in the source text, inform your client immediately.

Translation is a field that requires you to hone your skills and spend much time in learning. There are lots of translation service providers such as with lots of information on their website that can help you to become a better translator. They can also offer your their services if you are a client looking for such services.