Top 5 must-have skills for translators

Every job requires certain skills and knowledge, being a translator is not an exception. So if you want to excel in your translation career, here are the top 5 must-have skills to acquire.

1. Excellent writing skill in your mother tongue

You have to master your own language before other foreign ones. Only with full knowledge of grammar and writing styles of your native language, can you easily turn the text of another semantic system into the familiar literature that your audiences can digest. If you are not sure about your final work, closely collaborate with the proofreaders and ask about the modifications they would make to improve your writing.

2. Excellent reading and comprehension skill

It is obvious that if you do not thoroughly understand the context and the underlying meaning, you will never make a good translation. Just a misread word can ruin the whole sentence, even the whole document. Excellent reading and comprehension skills cannot be acquired unless you are fluent or almost fluent in your source language. So if you have yet to master the source language, you had better spend more time studying before trying to be a professional translator.

3. Cultural knowledge in both your target and source language

It is said that language is the reflection of culture. Besides understanding the text, a good translator need to be familiar with cultural differences between the target and source language. You have to act as a cultural adapter who can filter the cultural conflicts and make them appropriate in the target language. By reading and searching online, you can easily learn about another culture, so it is just like a background check before you start your translation.

4. Computer skill

These days, computer-aided translation tools (CAT tools) play an important part in translation process. These tools help you save time, produce more, increase consistency and quality. Not knowing how to use CAT tools means that you will be left behind in this ever changing translation industry. You also need to be capable of typing fast and be proficient at keyboarding. If you have yet to prepare your computer skills, then forums, blogs and YouTube can be great sources for your information and lessons.

5. Organization skill

You need to be well-organized to meet deadlines and customer’s requirements. In this service industry, failing to meet deadlines means failing to gain trust. Reputation is like an intangible certificate for you to climb the ladder in your translation career. Therefore, even if you have all of those four skills above but lack the organization skill, it would be a pity.

Besides these five skills, there are many other skills that a translator must have. Continuously learning and improving yourselves will make you greater translators. At Wise-Concetti, we have a team of professional translators who are both dedicated and skillful. So if you are looking for a place to start your translation career or finding a professional localization services provider, contact us now!


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