What kind of skills do translators need to succeed in the translation industry? Having highly proficient skills in translation surely plays a major role in succeeding, however, there are other skill sets that, in combination with translation skills, would push a translator to the peak. Naturally, translation skills are an essential foundation and a requirement to be successful in this role. In order to translate accurately and correctly, translators require a thorough understanding of both their source and target languages. They must also possess very good researching skills accompanied by a strong sense of evaluation of what they find. This is absolutely necessary in the terminology department. Translators must be highly adept at transferring ideas from one language to another. These skills are the main focus of any study course around the world offering a degree in translation. However, any professional translator knows that these are not the only skills required in this industry. A translator must be competent in other areas as well.
Translators need to think of themselves as writers. They have to be highly proficient in their target language and have an exceptional writing style. This is the reason why it is important that translators translate only into their native language as generally, people express themselves better in their own language than any other language. It would help a great deal if translation degrees would include courses in writing as well. Another crucial skill is appropriate subject matter knowledge. Translators translate meanings and not just words. If they are not knowledgeable in the particular subject they are translating, they will have a hard time producing an accurate translation in the target language. The key is to specialise in certain subjects through studying and/or professional experience in the field. This would avoid a lot of technical texts being poorly translated.
Technology skills are also vital in the translation industry. One must possess a very good command of MS applications and especially any CAT tools used. These software applications are upgraded very often, so ideally translators would frequently sit for online courses in order to keep up to date with these tools and their enhancements/developments. And last but not least, organisational skills also prove to be very crucial in this sector. Deadlines are of utmost importance in translation. Translators need to be systematic and efficient by planning their time and workload effectively. One must have the ability to meet deadlines and prioritise accordingly.
Some skills can be learned, whereas one’s natural inclination towards particular skills cannot. Having a strong understanding of these skills and evaluating whether you have what it takes to be in this field is basically the very first step. We, at Euris Consult, make sure that all our translators and revisors have polished these skills in order to deliver high quality Translation Services in Malta.
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