How to Improve Your Translation Skills

onFebruary 26, 2019

inTranslation Skills

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Most translators want to be the best so that they will be sought after by clients and have some flexibility on what they can charge. This can’t happen unless they have good translation skills and like anything, practice makes perfect so they should strive to improve the translation. There are several ways a translator can improve translation skills as indicated in the points below.

  1. Maintaining a blog is a good way to integrate yourself into the wider translation community as you can use it as a way of sharing information, getting feedback about translation skills and issues from clients and colleagues, sharing client testimonials and basically showcasing your translation successes and tell others how to be a good translator.
  2. Keep up to date with writing skills such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation issues and remind yourself about style guides.
  3. Read out aloud your final translation as it’s a great way to find out how to improve your translation skills. It’s always nice to be able to have another translator to read through and check your translation but as this isn’t always possible it’s surprising how useful it is to read out your final translation aloud. This quickly picks up wrong vocabulary and awkwardly written phrases and sentences and those that are too long giving you the chance to rewrite so they sound right for your client.
  4. Read other translator’s translations.

This is a great way to pick up new and more effective translation skills and ways of saying something in your target language without detracting from the meaning. A translation is rarely your own creative work as it’s important to stick to the meaning of the source text in order to complete an effective translation.

There are certain questions you should ask yourself when doing a translation such as:

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH AUSSIE TRANSLATIONS

What do you like and dislike about the translation’s style?

Do you think you have fulfilled the requirements of your client by getting the right message across?

Does your translation in your target language read well?

Several Tips for Improving Your Translation Skills:

Translation is constantly adjusting and evolving to meet the demands of the globalized world.  All translators need to follow the trends so that they can get the most out of their skills as well as gaining job satisfaction and happy clients.

Tip 1.

Keep up with your reading

There is always room for improvement in your second language and the best way to do this is to Read! Read! And Read! Every time you pick up a book or read an online paper in your second language you will learn something new. Papers in particular use slang, jargon and cultural specific language as this is what their readers understand.

Tip 2.

Keep up the dialogue

Keep up the conversations with target language speakers. They will from time to time use colloquialisms that you have never heard before but might be useful to know.

Tip 3.

Become a specialist

It’s always good to find a specialist area to focus on such as legal, medical, business or marketing. Translation services are often on the lookout for translators who have specialized in a particular field. You could even do a short course in say for example business translation. This field is always in demand.

Tip 4.

Never put your language before your target language

There is a tendency to focus on translating from your native language to your target language and not the other way round. You should practice translating from your target language to your language. This helps to build up your knowledge of your target language. Language service providers home in on translators who have 2-way translation skills.

Tip 5.

Don’t ignore computer-assisted translation (CAT tools)

You may think the human translator is the best but CAT tools are actually extremely useful. They can help you to speed up your translations and they can improve the quality too. They can pick out repetitiveness and make sure nothing has been missed out. There are a number of CAT tools available and they usually attract a cost but despite this, they are a good investment.

In the end key, translation skills will be developed and become second nature if you translate as often as you can even if it means practising translations unpaid. As you develop your skills you will become more sought after than translators who aren’t forward-looking and don’t concentrate on becoming more knowledgeable about their target language.

Summary

Translation is the key to world communication today.  It’s an area that should be capitalized on because it’s likely to grow more and more in the future. Translators are needed in all sorts of international situations and in particular to prepare documents to be shared among those who don’t speak the source language.

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