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Features of a good translator - part 2

19 marca 2015

Knowledge of the translation process

Not all the difficulties in translation business are associated with poor language skills, or lack of technical expertise. Sometimes we are faced with dilemmas related to the translation process. What to do when the text appears untranslatable pun? Does foreign language names should be translated or left in the original? How to deal with cultural allusions that are not understandable to the recipient? What if a hero of a translated book speaks dialect? Do I need to convert miles to kilometers and Fahrenheit to Celsius? Is the translator allowed to correct the error in the translated text? Can translators add something? The answer to all these questions is one: it depends. But from what? And what possibilities we have in each case? Here, the theory of translation may be helpful. Many bright minds struggle on similar problems, so try to take advantage of the experience of more experienced colleagues.

Computer skills

The days when a piece of paper and a pen or typewriter was enough to translate are forever gone. Today, a PC is a must have. A good translator must master MS Office (especially with Word) and at least one CAT program (more on that in a moment), the ability to touch type is i also useful.

translation programsAlthough MS Word is a basic tool of a professional translator, many of them are not able to use it. A classic example is the alignment of the text in line with the dozens of space (which obviously exaggerates the number of characters and unjustifiably increases the translation price). Tabs, basic page settings, paragraph, font, headers and footers, tables, automatic table of contents - are just a few of the key features that every translator should know.

CAT Programs (Computer Assisted Translation)  are applications improving the translation process. Their main task is to save the database (so called translation memory) of all sentences translated by us and providing hints, when in the future we will undergo the translation of the same or a similar sentence. It is not an essential tool in the work of the translator, but very useful for repetitive texts. Many translation agencies require their use of their translators.