Let us begin by defining a translator. A translator is a person
that provides native-quality translations. Native quality means
that the translated material reads as though it was originally
written in the target language.
A translator must have
Native fluency in the source
A thorough understanding
of the target language
Excellent writing skills
Familiarity with the terminology
in the desired field
Awareness of cultural differences
and language subtleties
A professional translator must know that translation is a complex
process and does not consist only in rendering a text from one
language into another. There are many things that a translator
must bear in mind during the process. First, the translator
should read carefully any project instructions, and prepare
or have a look at a glossary and a style guide. Second phase
after translation is Editing/Auto-correction. This done against
source material and include format, linguistic and technical
check. Edited or auto-corrected documents should be of high
quality, and treated as final. Next step is proofreading. Proofreader
should check if the text is 100% translated, and whether instructions,
glossary and reference materials were carefully followed. Last
phase of the process is QA check . It concerns only a sample
of the translated material. The language specialist should follow
QA Standards and prepare a report to document the evaluation
of the translation.
Project management is also a key factor in delivering best quality.
Unfortunately many (companies and individuals) believe that
the translation of a project that took months to prepare can
quickly and safely be done in a matter of days.
While this may be technically feasible nowadays, more often
than not the quality of such thrown together translations is
You as a client should be carefully scrutinizing any: "no deadline
too short" and "we'll do it quicker and better
than our competitors" - and similar claims.
In a 'rush job' errors arise not only from the translator's
inability to devote sufficient time to thoroughly check and
edit the material, but also from the lack of time to conduct
the necessary research that includes consulting an expert or
seeking clarification from the author. Most translation agencies,
companies as well as individual translators will make a 'rush
charge' where the client (purchaser) requests a translation
at a very short notice, so it is clearly in your interest to
plan ahead and avoid such unnecessary extra costs.