There are 7139 languages spoken today all around the globe, in over 195 different countries, each with their own rules and cultures. Communication is everything; it is a crucial part of our daily lives and translation is one of the keys to areciprocaland fruitful understanding between human beings. A translator, simply put, is a facilitator as translationfacilitates communication among people. Thus, we can look at a translation agency as being made of up of a whole team of facilitators who enable communication and understanding by means of their translation work. The globe relies on translation to break language barriers; therefore, a translator or a translation agency bears huge responsibility in this regard.
Translators, who may either be self-employed or working for a translation agency, are language experts who read, comprehend and translate written texts from one language to another. They speak at least two languages at a very proficient level. Translators are able to connect two languages, two cultures and different people. Their goal is to have people read the translated text as if it were the original. In order to do that, a translator must be able to write sentences that flow as well as the original, while making sure that the ideas and facts from the original are conveyed accurately in the translation. Of course, they must take into consideration any cultural references, slang words and any other expressions that do not translate literally.
Although translators work with two languages - their mother tongue and another chosen language - they do sometimes specialise in a third and even a fourth language, provided that they are proficient and fluent in them. Even though they might have a near-native command of a foreign language, it is very likely that they will never translate into the learned language, but always out of it and into their native tongue. A translation agency usually uses this model when recruiting its translators, where the target language is the native language of the translator. This is believed to give the best results as it enables the translator to first fully comprehend a given message in a foreign language and then rewrite it in a natural and culturally significant way in their mother language. Therefore, a translator must read and understand the source language fluently, but may not need to speak it fluently.Locally, most translators work on a freelance basis with a translation agency, sometimes more than one. Often, they have flexible working hours and conditions to be able to meet their often tight deadlines.
Many believe that the translator’s personality and cognitive styles play a pivotal role in the translation process. Good translators have very distinct personalities as they tend to be investigative, intellectual and inquisitive. It is a job suited to people with restless and inquiring minds. Curiosity plays a big part in this as one must feel motivated to do research and keep learning new words and expressions. A translation agency would consider all the above as important factors when selecting its team of translators. Others believe that translation is an art as the translator is trying to understand what is meant in one language and then paints a picture of what is meant in his mother tongue. Therefore, being artistic and creative are also two desirable traits for translators.
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