Differences of a professional translator
Thread poster: MatheusDiniz
Feb 13, 2012

Hello everyone.

Im a 19 y/o student from Brazil and I´m interested on becoming a translator. I have a very basic knowledge of english and an even more basic knowledge in italian. I have a question to make: What differs a professional translator from a person who's just fluent on a language? I mean, any person who is fluent on a language can do translations, so what makes a professional translator better then a regular speaker?


 

Sam Pinson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:48
Member (2011)
Russian to English
One difference is excellent communication skills Feb 13, 2012

Being fluent in a language does not mean you have good communication skills. A professional translator must be fluent in the source and target language AND have excellent communication skills in both languages.

There are, of course, other differences.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 04:48
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
the above and... Feb 13, 2012

writing skills, creativity, accuracy, specialized knowledge. Many translators have not studied translation but have come to it in a round-about way, having specialized knowledge of particular subjects.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My simple definition Feb 13, 2012

A bilingual person is someone capable of expressing their own ideas in two different languages; while a translator is someone skilled to express someone else's ideas faithfully, accurately, and correctly in a language different from the one in which they were originally issued.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:48
English to German
+ ...
Excellent. Feb 14, 2012

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

A bilingual person is someone capable of expressing their own ideas in two different languages; while a translator is someone skilled to express someone else's ideas faithfully, accurately, and correctly in a language different from the one in which they were originally issued.


 

Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:48
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Fundamental misconception Feb 14, 2012

MatheusDiniz wrote:

Hello everyone.

Im a 19 y/o student from Brazil and I´m interested on becoming a translator. I have a very basic knowledge of english and an even more basic knowledge in italian. I have a question to make: What differs a professional translator from a person who's just fluent on a language? I mean, any person who is fluent on a language can do translations, so what makes a professional translator better then a regular speaker?


I fully agree with Jose's definition but strongly believe that the notion of "any person who is fluent in a language can do translations" is fundamentally flawed. Fluency alone doesn't make you a (good) translator at all. Sam and Tina mentioned some of the other necessary skills and abilities.

[Edited at 2012-02-14 08:27 GMT]


 

Stella Traduções
Brazil
Local time: 07:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Writing skills are fundamental Feb 14, 2012

Just complementing what other colleagues have said, I'm also from Brazil by the way ... interesting replies to this forum post!
In my opinion you have to be fluent in the languages you translate, have knowledge in the fields you are specializing and most of all be a good "writer" (not author) to be able to share someone else's idea in a way that the reader will fully understand what that person wrote.
Specially in Portuguese I must say to write it simple and clear is much more difficult than to just pass one term to another language, if you get this base and pass it to your translation, (and if you become a professional you will know what I mean) to be faithful in another language is not always to put the same equivalent words, but to "transport" the complete meaning the of sentences you are translating to another culture, language and different people.
But the ideal thing would be to become fluent as you will have to read and fully understand what the author of the text means in the first place.

[Edited at 2012-02-14 13:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-02-15 00:17 GMT]


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Differences of a professional translator

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2017 only €435 / $519
Get the cheapest prices for SDL Trados Studio 2017 on ProZ.com

Join this translator’s group buy brought to you by ProZ.com and buy SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance for only €435 / $519 / £345 / ¥63000 You will also receive FREE access to Studio 2019 when released.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search