In the increasingly globalised and multicultural world that we live in, the professional translator plays a key role as a bridge between cultures.

Every company wishing to operate on a global scale, every institution exchanging information outside its borders, every product being sold in other parts of the world or every person who travels or moves to another country needs the services of a translator.  In the words of the famous literary critic George Steiner, “Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence”.

It is therefore essential to always work with a professional translator who has the training, skills, and knowledge to enable optimal communication between two different languages and cultures.

But what are the skills that a professional translator must have?

          1) Advanced language knowledge:
A translator is a linguist. A translator’s work requires a very advanced or bilingual level of grammar, spelling, terminology, syntax, and punctuation of the languages they work with.

     2) Exceptional research skills:
A translator is a researcher. Professional translation requires exceptional management of sources of documentation to fully understand the text being translated and find the appropriate equivalent terms.

3) Skills in IT and CAT Tools:
A translator is an IT specialist, since everyday they must use online terminological databases, computer-assisted translation tools (CAT), online search engines, translation platforms and word processing software.

4) Impeccable writing skills:
A translator is a writer. The text they produce (the translation) must be written flawlessly and sound natural, as if it had originally been written in that language. Their text must fulfil the three textual properties of adequacy, coherence, and cohesion.

5) Extraordinary attention to detail:
A translator is a proofreader. They must pay full attention to spelling, figures, proper names, dates, punctuation, and the use of capital letters. They must also strictly adhere to any style guides or glossaries provided.

6) Specialist knowledge in the subject of the translation
A translator is an expert in the subject of the translation. It is essential to have an in-depth knowledge of the subject being translated in order to convey the ideas in the other language.  For example, if you are a legal translator, you must understand the legal systems which you are working with, as well as their terminology and concepts.

7) An in-depth knowledge of the source and target culture
A translator is a great connoisseur of cultures.  Language is intrinsically linked to the culture where it is spoken. The translator does not work with words in isolation, but with the concepts that are part of the culture. Therefore, cultural competence is an essential component of the professional translator.

Do you need a professional translator with these seven skills? Write to me and let’s discuss your project!