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What is a professional translator?

09.04.2012

What is a professional translator?

The parable about Babel tower is known. People, having started to speak in different languages, have ceased to understand each other. It has led to an inability to work together and the impossibility of achieving important goals. The professional translator, should he (or she) appear that moment in Babylon would help to solve the given problem.
What is a "professional translator"? What differs such a translator from the person knowing one or several foreign languages?

Levels of knowledge foreign languages

A lot of people know foreign languages, but it is necessary to remember, that levels of knowledge can be very different. If you need to be guided by means of language abroad or to carry out purchases it is one thing. If it is required to translate documents or to carry on negotiations with a foreign partner, then an incorrect translation (accidentally or due to lack of knowledge) can threaten the business venture with failure.
Mistakes in translation become the reason for misunderstandings between parties. Also cases are known when the non-professional translator incorrectly diminishes or adds something in dialogue between the parties. Therefore more often than not customers employ professional translators who can guarantee the quality of their services.
What are the qualities of a professional translator?

Qualities of professional translator

  • The professional translator is a translator providing an exact transfer of information, including preservation of the style.
  • The professional translator has, as a rule, a special linguistic education. He/she masters not only foreign language, but also the skills of translation.
  • The professional translator has a wide lexicon. He/she has background knowledge on a theme because while translating it is often necessary to understand the content of a subject - whether it be technical translation, legal translation or translation of documents.
  • Knowledge of terminology and understanding is essentially important during oral translation, especially during simultaneous interpretation.

    Oral translation

    The professional translator not only transmits information but he/she also acts as the representative of the customer; translation always contains in itself an imprint of the translator. Therefore the professional translator should know perfectly both the foreign and the native language. Otherwise he/she will not be able to find quickly the best language equivalents. A live language is filled by nuances, shades, intonations, and it needs to be translated in all its varieties.

    Oral translation demandings

    If the translator speaks the translation after one or several sentences have been said, it is "consecutive translation". The simultaneous interpreter speaks at once, practically without a pause.

  • Oral translation (and especially - simultaneous interpretation) demands fluency in both languages, ability to connect both languages, and a perfect knowledge of terminology in the context of the task.
  • The professional translator specializing in oral translation should know protocols and procedures, the situation of the translation, and be able to observe ethical standards of translation.
  • Professional translator and his nervous energy

    Simultaneous interpretation is very interesting and prestigious kind of translational activity, but it needs extremely large amounts of nervous energy. Negotiations are conducted for three or four hours sometimes without a break, and consistent accuracy is essential. Therefore one of the more important qualities of the professional translator is the skill to overcome stressful situations.
    The professional translator should develop language skills and extend knowledge in each area where he/she works. It demands a continuous process of education process during all their career. Such a translator extends their skills constantly and purposefully by using their languages in many contexts.


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