- Language expertise. No doubt, this is the first and foremost characteristic an effective member of the translation service must possess. If you are not fluent in at least two languages, you must find a career in another field. Definitely, the professional translation industry would need someone who is articulate in different languages, more than his native tongue. It is more than just knowledge in different languages that is required here. You need to be eloquent to be able to translate documents fittingly.
- Research skills. Even when you feel you are fluent enough in different languages, you still need to be armed with some skills in research. You see, you will most likely get jobs that are not only about texts or documents but cultures as well. You must know how to expand your resources in interpreting the language you are assigned to. That is one way of being effective and becoming a suitable candidate for more professional translation projects. Being skilled in research also means that you know the translation tools available to you to help you carry out the task at hand.
- Professionalism in communication. Being an expert in language and in communication are two entirely different things. They are, however, both relevant in the success of one's career in the professional translation field. While a language expert is knowledgeable in different languages, a communication professional is someone who can deliver a message without missing any bit of detail. This is especially critical since professional translation means you are transferring an idea or concept from one language to another. To be effective, you must be able to deliver the translation in an accurate manner, delivering the message as it is. This means that you should not only learn how to provide an equivalent word to a foreign word but also conveying the original message of the document you are working on.
- Specialization in a subject. Nowadays, since the global trade has become so popular that a lot of businesses are getting into it, professional translation has become so in demand as well. This means a broad and varied work area for translators. You must, therefore, be knowledgeable in different subjects, fields, and industries to get as much work as is available. Do not tie yourself down to technical subjects because that would limit the amount of work you will be allowed to. Then again, you must remember that you need to be an authority in the topics or subjects that you claim you can handle. You cannot be a 'jack of all trades, master of none' in the translation service industry.
- Discipline and commitment. Professional translation requires your commitment and devotion to deliver the work assigned to you on time. An effective translator is someone who can meet his deadlines. It takes a lot of discipline to be able to do that.
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