Why Being a Translator Is More than Being Bilingual
First of all, translators must know considerably more than just how to speak a foreign language. A good translator will know how to verbally communicate in their language of choice, as well as how to read and write effectively in that language. The attention to detail that is required in some aspects of translation (with grammar, pronouns and cultural differences being just to name a few) is considerable, making this job more difficult than most people realize.
An important aspect of being an effective translator is translating concepts, which is much harder than just translating words on paper. The ideal translator is someone who is a native speaker of the language being translated, and someone who also has knowledge in the field in which they will be working.
There are also certain personality traits that can make one translator more successful than another. Some important traits to look for in a translator are strict attention to detail, the ability to concentrate for long periods, the desire to strive for perfection, a competent and diligent worker, not to mention being a good writer and reader. Finding someone with a true passion for the language and/or work that you are doing can also be a huge plus, and is required for certain types of translation such as medical or legal translation.
Many people think that finding one person to translate for them or their business will be an easy and painless job. However, that is not always the case. If you are looking to hire one translator for ongoing work, you will need to find someone who is fluent in every language that you may wish to target, as well as someone who is knowledgeable in every topic that you may wish to address. Alternatively, you could use the services of a professional translation company such as One Hour Translation and have access to a range of translators who are perfectly matched to your unique needs as they arise.
I hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding of what makes a good translator, and why being bilingual simply isn't enough.
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