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Poll: What skill do you believe is the most important for succeeding as a freelance translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:32
SITE STAFF
Feb 10, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What skill do you believe is the most important for succeeding as a freelance translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rodrigo Gaion. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 10, 2014

IMHO we are missing the option "All (or most) of the above".

 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 16:32
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Other Feb 10, 2014

The poll misses THE most important skill for a translator.

 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:32
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Other Feb 10, 2014

Thorough knowledge of source and target languages.

 

B. D. Laux  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:32
Member (2009)
German to Norwegian
+ ...
Other Feb 10, 2014

I agree with Noura, and I also miss accuracy, reliability and accessibility

 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:32
French to English
+ ...
Is it me? Feb 10, 2014

... but surely the most important skill of all is the ability to translate well..... (by no means always a given)

 

Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:32
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Other Feb 10, 2014

The poll misses many important skills for a translator, moreover, as neilmac wrote, I think it misses the option "All (or most) of the above".

 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:32
Danish to English
+ ...
Other - Excellent language skills Feb 10, 2014

icon_biggrin.gif

 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 16:32
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Bingo! Feb 10, 2014

Jack Doughty wrote:

Thorough knowledge of source and target languages.


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:32
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Persistence and determination Feb 10, 2014

While all the other qualities are very important, and I wouldn't recommend anyone try to be a translator without first-class language skills, you will not be successful as a freelancer unless you have the persistence and determination to go out there and find the right work for you. You have to be able to overcome the many obstacles in the way and not be deterred when things go wrong.

 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:32
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Other Feb 10, 2014

Thorough language knowledge is a pre-requisite. So I would say that in this day and age, marketing and business skills are crucial.


Helen Hagon wrote:
While all the other qualities are very important, and I wouldn't recommend anyone try to be a translator without first-class language skills, you will not be successful as a freelancer unless you have the persistence and determination to go out there and find the right work for you.


[Edited at 2014-02-10 16:13 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other: knowledge Feb 10, 2014

That was my first reaction: knowledge of the two languages and knowledge of the subject matter.

Then comes skill at resolving the lexical and syntactic differences between the two languages.

Then comes good writing style.

I find it quite surprising that these were left out. IMO, everything else is secondary. With only the other attributes listed:

organization
good communication with clients
patience
speed
memory

the Emperor would have no clothes.


 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 16:32
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
this.. Feb 10, 2014

Diana Coada, PGDip DPSI NRPSI wrote:

Thorough language knowledge is a pre-requisite.]


That's what one would think, but paying a visit to the Kudoz section reveals terrifying "linguistic" findings about seemingly good translators who DO receive jobs!


 

Andrea Jarmuschewski  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:32
Member (2007)
French to German
+ ...
Exactly Feb 10, 2014

Jack Doughty wrote:

Thorough knowledge of source and target languages.


Exactly.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:32
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Spot on! Feb 10, 2014

Jack Doughty wrote:

Thorough knowledge of source and target languages.


 
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