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What Do Translators Do?

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What Do Translators Do?

I’m a native Romanian speaker who became perfectly fluent in English by age 12. Occasionally, I’d brag to my friends about being a “translator”.

A translator does way more than just carrying words from one language to the other. Companies would be wise to pay great care on how they handle their letters, both in their native language and their target, foreign languages.

This starts by properly understanding just what does a translator do.

Translators, good ones, in particular, translate more than words, they translate meanings.

This is perhaps the most important part of a translator’s work. Someone who’s just a bilingual speaker might settle for translating sentences word by word, and while it might do just fine for casual, day-to-day communication with other native speakers, businesses and companies demand more than that.

A professional translator worries less about matching words, and instead, worries about conveying a message that stays truthful to the original text while possessing grammatical, syntactic, and idiomatic accuracy.

Translators, especially those with expertise, provide tailored works.

This is the case with most experts in any field. A professional translator with decent expertise at best online translation services knows just what kind of questions to ask, knows about common mistakes to avoid, and has formulated an effective workflow to deliver efficient, mistake-free results.

A bilingual person doubling as a rudimentary translator might rush straight into the translation, skipping any kind of questioning to gauge what the client wants.

This leads to either disappointing products, loss of time and money, and lots of misunderstandings.

Translators have a wealthy vocabulary – especially those who studied to become professionals.

Casual bilingual speakers generally don’t. Your bilingual friend might know it all about lifting weights, but perhaps he is not the aptest to translate your medical papers. A professional translator is far more likely to handle a breadth of industry-specific terms than a casual speaker.

You won’t always find a good, quality translator that is also highly familiarized with the topic, but there’s a high chance that this translator is savvy enough to approach the situation in a way that allows him/her to discover the proper terminology.

Translators work constructively – especially those worried about building a reputation.

Think about this: if you hire a good, professional plumber to renovate your home’s plumbing, he would try his best to impress you.

The last thing any self-respecting professional wants is to taint his reputation. This means that a good professional is always open to criticism, requests (within reason), and some corrections.

If you just hire a bilingual person to translate something, the odds are this person is doing it for a few extra bucks; this means that if the work is delivered poorly, criticism won’t be very welcome, and there’s a low chance you’ll receive a second look at your work.

A professional translator is honest and open to criticism; he will listen to your suggestions and try to work for a solution that will bring both parties a win.

Translators are curious – especially those concerned with becoming better.

A professional translator might not know all about the topic you requested, or the terminology needed, but thanks to both his education and expertise, he has the means to obtain the needed knowledge.

Any person working with linguistics goes lengths to ensure the continued growth of their vocabulary. A bilingual person might not worry too much about going too deep into the topic that results in translations that simply “sound wrong”.

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