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Am I translating well if I translate a lot…

Practice makes perfect; this is particularly true of translation. The attainment of an academic qualification in translation does not instantly make you a translator, even less so a professional translator. Qualifying as one involves grappling with a tough training process.

From our extensive experience with translators and revisors of different types of specialist tests we have discovered that a really young and inexperienced translator cannot be good because the ability to translate consists in the possession of a quality which is originally innate but must be constantly improved. Specifically, the necessary scientific understanding of a good translator is the result of an excellent gift for writing, a vast general cultural awareness and a thorough knowledge of specific fields, but above all of practices. Translation is knowledge first and foremost; this knowledge does not accumulate without years of study, and above all of practice. However, who has the chance to acquire lots of practical experience in a world such as translation, filled with professionals (and non-professionals), in which it is increasingly difficult to enter as a freelancer? In-house translators of translation studies who have had access to practical experience are better in terms of their professionalism. They can take advantage of the continual flow of work, the variety of types of texts to translate and the chance to work along with other colleagues in order to identify solutions to common problems. The concept of in-house translation offers translators support and a calm working environment which is often lacking in this sector, allowing them to dedicate themselves to the translation practice on a full time basis so they can improve day after day. It can be observed that many translation agencies, but also many direct clients make use of young translators with little knowledge and little experience, unrelated to the trend of continual improvement, in order to save on costs. However, this decision results in translations riddled in errors which require a great deal of editing (or else an entire re-working), since the translator often has not yet had chance to extend their own linguistic and cultural knowledge in the various sectors by tackling different types of texts. In addition to supplying a better understanding of the use of language within various specialised sectors, this exercise also teaches how to find suitable ways to overcome the obstacles that translation poses, adopting different strategies from time to time. These are not always pre-packaged and available to the translator as needed, but rather an understanding of them is sometimes only acquired after a long and difficult task.

We are consequently inviting you to reflect on the importance of time and quantity in obtaining a high quality translation work because the only way become good translators and ensure translations which demonstrate experience and is to “grind” words out daily with much dedication, patience and thirst for knowledge.

Originally posted 2013-01-27 07:20:26.

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