What skills and knowledge do professional translators need to have a successful career? Is it enough to just know the language or are there other skills that can benefit this profession?
Of course, their translating skills are the foundation and perquisite to any translator’s success, but only knowing the language isn’t enough if they want to shine in this work. These are three skills important for a translator’s career.
Deep understanding of the culture and language
In order to be a good translator, you have to possess a deep understanding of both your native tongue and the foreign language as well as the ability to carry over the essence and ideas expressed in the text from one language to the other. This is why university lectures and different courses for translators always focus on teaching these skills.
This means that you should also have a very broad vocabulary and know how to use professional literature when you need to in your work as a translator.
Having good writing skills is also of vital importance to any translator. Depending on the material being translated, it could become very difficult to do a good job without this skill. This is especially evident when translating literary works or marketing materials but also in many science papers.
Of course, it’s not enough to just be skilled in writing in your native tongue but also the translator must be capable to write well in the foreign language that they are translating to or from. Most people, despite having learned the foreign language, are much better at expressing themselves in their native tongue and this is why this is a skill that the best translators are always trying to improve and perfect.
Understanding the topic that is being translated
Having specialized knowledge in the area that the text is about is another skillset that’s absolutely vital for a successful translator. The point is that we are not translating only words, but also their meaning and it’s important that the translation carries over the original meaning from the original text. In other words, if you don’t understand the topic of the text, you won’t be able to make a good translation.
This is also one of the reasons why translators usually specialize in certain or several connected areas. Usually, the major experts are those people who have – through studying and/or their own work experience – attained specific knowledge in specific areas. By pairing this knowledge with a foreign language, we get the perfect blend of a translator who is able to deliver the perfect services and charge well for it.
Ovo je ujedno i jedan od razloga zbog kog se prevodioci obično specijalizuju za određenu ili nekoliko srodnih oblasti. Obično je slučaj da su najveći
In conclusion, in order to provide the highest standards of translating services, the translators must possess an excellent knowledge of the language they are using. If the translator is not well versed in just one of these three fields, they can easily make mistakes and inaccuracies when translating certain texts.