Most translators seem to start out as generalists, meaning that they feel they have no option but to accept assignments offered to them in all areas of translation. This hardly seems fair because no-one, and least of all a beginner translator, is automatically an expert on every subject matter.
If you’re not a regular translation client, then you can’t be expected to understand the names and terms used in the translation industry. For example, if you need a document translated, who should you be communicating with? Is it a Project Manager, an Account Manager, or should you approach a translator directly?
If a foreign customer is confused about what meal to select and order, they’re more likely to complain about the food they receive and the restaurant service in general. Complaints and misunderstandings are unpleasant for both the customers and the restaurant staff, and create a general feeling of unease throughout the restaurant.
One of the more frustrating experiences for travelers is ordering food in restaurants in a new country. When you think about it, the restaurant’s menu is the basis of communication between the restaurant and its customers, so today we’re seeing more restaurants offering menus to their customers that have been translated into various languages. Below we’ve listed the main reasons why hotel restaurants should have their menus translated.
A professional is a person who does something for a living; a person who has the right skills and is committed to continual professional development. A professional translator is someone who understands the two cultures, strives to find the right words, and who has excellent writing skills. Unless you’re able to make a career out of translating and are generating a good monthly income from your translation skills, then you’re still an aspiring professional.
Any professional translator will tell you that it takes a lot more than a bilingual dictionary, a working knowledge of both the source and target languages, and a reliable Internet connection to become a successful professional translator. Even without a specialty, all translators need many, many hours of practice followed by a lot of experience before they’re confident enough to tackle difficult translations and certain topics.
Linguists who work as both translators and interpreters may not always be thrilled to receive last-minute projects. If you’re working on a large project on your computer and you’re asked to travel away from your office to attend to another client, you may have to decline the job; unless of course, you’re simply part of a team and only work on small translation projects.
People working in the field of linguistics generally know how much work is expected of them each and every day: professors and teachers have a schedule, and even though there will be times when extra work is required – preparing material for seminars and courses, grading tests, and so on – their schedule will generally be adhered to. When a translator is employed by a company, they’ll be given the amount of work that they’re capable of handling within their working hours. This is generally because team members will have regular meetings with their manager and determine what’s best for both their clients and the translators.
You have to learn to control your emotions and this won’t be easy if you start doubting your ability to find clients who pay on time, finding translation projects that suit your expertise, and your ability to cope with a translation workload. Fear and doubt will work against you, so to counteract these negative feelings simply start counting your blessings. It really is that easy!
Pidgin is a language that’s developed over a period of time from a mixture of two or more languages and is used as a way of communication for people who don’t speak each other’s language. Elements are taken from local languages, resulting in a simplified form of one of the languages, producing a language of reduced grammatical and vocabulary structure, with variations in pronunciation.
Don’t take on difficult projects. A technical project with a rush deadline is not ideal for someone who is attempting new fields. It’s going to take you forever to complete the project when it would be much wiser to take on smaller projects if you’re trying to expand your expertise. Taking on a few short translation projects will help you become more comfortable with longer texts and improve your confidence. If you’re not comfortable about a specific project, don’t attempt it. And, of course, your client will appreciate your honesty.
In order to become a better translator, you must first acknowledge that it takes many years to become really good at any chosen career. No-one was born a brilliant translator! That being said, though the longer you put off professional development the longer it will take you to be able to compete with others in your chosen field, and this is regardless of where you happen to live in the world. The effort you’re prepared to put into your career and the way you manage your time will be key in achieving professional success.