Translating is not just about rendering spoken words or written text into another language. It is a conversion that keeps the essence, tone, intention, cultural references and other nuances intact. Knowing two or more languages does not naturally qualify a person to become a translator. It is a difficult job and requires specialized skills, especially in cases that require a technical background.
Word choice is important, especially in the case of translation and interpretation. Many people use these terms interchangeably. However their roles are very different, as translators work with written communication while interpreters handle oral communication. Both play an important role in global businesses and can help businesses expand their audiences. They perform the function of transmitting information accurately and help develop and improve communication with prospective clients from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Ensure you are asking for the right service when selecting a provider. Though someone may be an excellent oral communicator, it does not mean they will be able to craft text in written form. Interpreters have more flexibility working in real time while translators have to be more precise and professionals will work with an editor.
The skills of a translator often are hard to uncover until you are under fire. Though someone may look good on paper, they may not be able to perform under the pressure of a deadline or a particular requirement. This is where the skill of testing and evaluation by an agency becomes invaluable. Good agencies have completed this step according to their quality standards. Ensure your agency includes this important step in their process. What skills should be tested?
• The understanding and knowledge of not only the source but also the target language and their cultural concepts.
• The flair for using reference material like dictionaries, cultural books, literature written in the language.
• The ability to write according to the audience.
• Has the capability of keeping the original essence of the language alive.
• A native speaker able who is able to capture the rhythms and nuances of the language.
• The ability to use translation memory tools and current technology
Having a translator with skills that are tried and true, is a valuable asset to your business. However, finding quality translators in all backgrounds and language combinations can be a time consuming task if you do not have a trusted agency as your partner. Selecting an agency that upholds high translator standards will give you the peace of mind that your localized content was completed with the “right stuff” in mind.