5 reasons why it’s beneficial to hire a professional translator, as opposed to simply hiring someone with multilingual abilities but perhaps lacking the rigorous training and education of a professional.
So the first question to answer is…
What is a professional translator?
Translation is a profession in which an individual receives specialized training at colleges, universities or within translation associations of a certain country in order to transform written text from one language to another.
What does that training really entail, though? A student of translation specializes in linguistics with two or more languages. This may be a native speaker of one language and trained in-depth on that language and/or other languages in their rules, culture, and uses in specific contexts. In addition to this study, they also receive training on how to best handle the translation process as well.
The above discussion helps to define what a translator is, and the skills and training that go into becoming a professional translator, but there are top 5 characteristics that translators typically possess that make them stand out compared to a bilingual speaker.
The Top 5 Qualities of Professional Translators
Among other issues that professional or specialised translators may learn in her/his programme of study that a multilingual or bilingual speaker may not are as listed below:
A good translator must have a specific linguistic education. They should master not only the foreign language they work with, but also the skills of translation.
A good translator must have a wide lexicon, not only in the foreign language but also in their mother tongue. This will make the translation process easier and the quality of the translation higher. Translators also acquire technical terms in specific fields, such as business, law, sciences, engineering, etc…
A good translator’s goal is to express the idea of the source text as clearly as possible, without ambiguity. They should avoid difficult structures when they can use simple ones.
Great translators are obsessed with quality.
A good translator should provide an exact transfer of information. Despite it being tempting sometimes, the translator should not correct the source text, trying to maintain its “spirit” instead.
Final thoughts and wrapping up
Apart from the above qualities a professional or specialized translator should possess through effective learning, and should also have specific translation techniques depending on the client’s requirements. For example, some clients and documents need a word by word translation, others literal, semantic or communicative. Thus the multilingual or bilingual speaker may lack the experience of knowing which techniques s/he should apply to the document.
Not only that, but translation has a specific process in which a translator needs to follow to make the translation work more effective; utilizing that process, the professional translator will take many considerations into account in order to make the translated document of the highest possible quality and free from any avoidable errors.