What makes you an expert in written translation

Have you ever wondered what it takes for someone to become an expert in written translation?

Well, it’s not that easy as it may seem to those who have never tried to maintain their concentration level for hours on end in front of a text with complicated terms, without making any mistakes. Especially for international languages, even though the Internet abounds in people who speak foreign languages and in translators, the true experts are distinguished through the impressive experience they have.

Being certified as an authorised translator.

A few years ago, in Romania, it was possible for any person who had a university degree for studies in a foreign language at a national or international level to become authorised as a translator by the Ministry of Justice based solely on their diploma. As expected, the professional translators contested the procedure. They said that anyone could wake up a translator overnight without specialised linguistic studies and without any kind of experience.

Experience matters most

No matter who’s right about the way of obtaining the certification, it is important that the experts in written translations don’t rely solely on their diploma. Years of exercise and learning from experience matter. Professionalism in this field is obtained through the volume of translations done. Experience develops the vocabulary with those precise terms that are used as a standard in certain contexts.

For instance, a professional translator will search the dictionary for the best use of a notion in a given context, depending on the translation’s particularities, and the meaning of the surrounding text.

The most appropriate words will get fixed in the mind in time. At a certain point, adequately using the specific terms from a specialty domain becomes a reflex. Another method used by experienced translators to fill in what’s missing in their vocabularies is to keep standard forms for the documents they translate most often. Such documents are, for instance, university degree diplomas, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and so on.

Also, the expert translator knows how to proceed in the case of legalised translations. The expert translator knows that they have to take several samples of the translation to the notary, and, in case of legal translations, they can advise their clients about how to succeed without problems also in relation to other authorities of the state, such as the register office or the courts of justice.

The translators who want to become experts inform themselves

Lastly, the translators who wish to become experts inform themselves about their field of activity. There are many materials that can be consulted to enhance the quality of the work. However, the best advice always comes from experts who once faced the same problems. Nothing is more helpful than the support of an experienced translator. They would proofread your work, explaining what they have corrected and how. They would also explain what rules you need to learn, whether it’s grammar or the quality of wording. The wisest attitude is to understand that a translation that turns out red in revision is not a reason to get upset, but an opportunity to learn something new. If you get back your paper full of notes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong. You’ll remember that there is another possible wording that fits the context a little better.

Experience is irreplaceable

All that hard work over time – attention to detail, dictionary research, corrections and the painstaking work of going through the text word by word, accumulates in the translator’s skill for tackling increasingly complicated texts, which contain concepts from areas initially unknown. After years of working every day, experts in written translation develop. They become able to handle with ease even texts that would have caused them difficulties at the beginning of their career.

As in any other field of work, real experience is more important than any degree. Little tricks and shortcuts can never replace years of hard work and proper training.

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