Three tips for becoming a better translator

By Chiara Grassilli
In Translation Techniques
Jun 22nd, 2015
3 Comments
4850 Views

Three tips for becoming a better translator

 

Throughout our career, we must learn and progress every day. It is important to have high expectations from yourself if you don’t want to be an average translator. To be the best in your field, you must make some efforts outside the working schedule, even if it is quite difficult at some point. We can offer you 3 tips that will help you become a better translator.

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Read more general texts

When it comes to a foreign language, there is never enough reading you have to do. Try to read as many things as possible in the target language. Try a variety of styles in order to enrich your vocabulary and to ease up your work. Read new and old literature and you will be able to observe how the language has advanced, how terminology has changed over the years. Don’t read only academic work; you can try light things that will help you understand a variety of new idioms. You can create your own glossary and you will see how many new things you have learned from your readings.

 

Read more texts in your field

If you have decided to specialize in one field of translation, then you need to know that you must stay informed. If you are translating scientific material, you have to be aware of the new discoveries and inventions, to understand the principles underlying their way of functioning and explaining them in the target language. Obviously, this can be done only by extensive reading on the particular subject. If medical translation is your field of expertise, find information about the latest research activities and try to understand them properly. Same applies if you are in the law field. As laws are constantly changing and evolving, you should know a bit about this phenomenon. Also, donโ€™t forget that in all these fields, the terminology constantly evolves, so you must read a lot if you want to be a real professional.

 

Try to spot mistakes

While you read something online, try to see if it sounds natural enough. If you spot mistakes, you are on the right track. It means you are really good at your job and you are able to understand the nuances of the language/s you studied. By reading your material in a critical manner, you develop your analytic skills, which are vital in this profession. This can also help you correct mistakes that you find in the original text, showing professionalism and attention to details, which are much appreciated by employees.
All in all, it is not easy to become a pro in your field. Progress requires work and ambition, so you must stay informed about the new discoveries in your specialization. By reading a variety of books and journals, you will understand all the things you need to know and you will be more appreciated by your employer.

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About "" Has 117 Posts

Since an early age I have been passionate about languages. I hold a Master's degree in Translation and Interpreting, and I have worked as a freelance translator for several years. I specialize in Marketing, Digital Marketing, Web and Social Media. I love blogging and I also run the blog www.italiasocialmedia.com

3 Responses to “Three tips for becoming a better translator”

  1. Leticia Nava says:

    Good advice, “Try to spot mistakes”. I can tell you that on the first line of your second tip I spotted two.

    • Hi Leticia,
      opss…you are absolutely right, 2 small typos. Seen them and fixed them ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for the heads up, much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Translation says:

    To be a better translator, it is good for you to read the latest news as well as understand the local customs and cultures. It is also a good thing to constantly improve your knowledge in genres that you are not familiar with so that you will be able to accurately translate materials in those genres in future. For first-time translators, it’s advisable to get a more senior translator to proofread the translation works and learn to improve from the seniors.