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 »  Articles Overview  »  ProZ.com Site Features  »  Other  »  How to be a real translator

How to be a real translator

By Flavia Martins dos Santos | Published  08/28/2006 | Other | Recommendation:
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Quicklink: http://www.proz.com/doc/864
Author:
Flavia Martins dos Santos
Brazil
English to Portuguese translator
 
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How to be a real translator


When people hear the word translator it is common to hear the sentence “AH! That is a very easy professional you just get a dictionary and translates the words.” What probably the person, or better yet the people, that makes this sort of comment doesn’t know what really lies behind a real translation and a meaningful one.

The real translation is that one that cares for the roots of the text that was written. It is that one that cares for the cultural aspect of what it is being said and above all it is that one that cares to spread the real idea, the original idea of the text.
In order to reach a good translation with good results the translator has to follow some basic steps: first interpret the main idea and the concepts which the writer cared for, second the translator has to have a semantic understanding to obtain a good level of his/her work and third try to get the main idea of the original to be able to pass it to the translation.

If the translator is able to compare the original with the translation and obtain the same idea that means that the work was well accomplished and that the respect to the original was kept. If the translator lacks the perfect term to relate to the original it is best to keep searching in order to maintain the initial idea of the writer, that’s why translation is a constant research and also a constant study of terms as well as a study of language itself. Keeping the right idea and the right track isn’t easy, but it is a duty of a reliable translator.

The results of a translation should be addressed to culture and ideas not only to the literal translation of words. For this the translators have to be determined to be close to the original and to reproduce accurately what is being said in the original. Switching words to give the right idea is a very good way of keeping track of the original; versatility is part of the skills of a good translator. Sometimes it is necessary to use the original word in a first attempt until the best word is found to replace the original one without losing the idea neither the sense.

The direct connection between the two versions is the key for a good translation, and also a good manner not to lose the sense of the main idea It is also important to bare in mind that the language is a source of communication used to transmit the ideas, so we as translators have to make the best use of it in order to keep the sense of the original. A good use of the language brings a good translated work.

A constant study is requested in order to keep the possibilities and the diversities of a translation. Being a good translator is admitting the limitations and fighting to surpass them in a way that the results are well reached.


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