Translating is not an easy job as you need to understand the ideas which are being expressed in the particular language. This also means having a clear idea of the wider context of the topic. You cannot become a translator by just changing a few of the words to express the idea in another language.
You need different skills if you wish to become a translator. Languages themselves change due to the many changes taking place in the world. The translator has to be able to cope with the changes and at the same time remain connected to the two different cultures which are connected to those two languages. Here are a few of the skills required to become a good translator.
- Listening: You need to be a good listener. If you are not, there is every chance you might misinterpret what is being said and this will result in the wrong message being communicated. You can develop your listening skills even when you are working, by listening to different individuals when they are communicating.
- Writing: In addition to good listening skills you also need to be a good writer. If you are a good writer, this will help you to be more expressive. The benefit of this is that you will be able express ideas in another language more effectively. You can practice your writing by either taking classes or reading books on writing.
- Cultural Intelligence: As a translator, you will also meet individuals from different cultural backgrounds. You need to know how to communicate with people from these different cultures
- Specialist Knowledge: Having specialist knowledge of a particular field will give you an added advantage. If you actually have a degree in a certain specialization, you will attract higher profile clients, which can result in repeat business.
- Observation: Just listening to what people are saying is not enough to develop your skills. You need to understand how people are saying it. This helps in understanding them more clearly which will further be translated into expressing opinions in a more effective manner. You can develop your observation skills while traveling, watching television shows, or reading, for example.
- Computer Skills: In today’s world many clients require that different translations be updated directly over their websites or using their own in-house applications. This means that you need to be continuously improving your own computer skills. You should have a decent computer with a good internet connection speed. You should also have the most up-to-date versions of any software you will be using, such as Word and Excel.
- Time Management: You need to be good at time management. You should develop a proper time schedule with a decent break of 10-15 minutes between different tasks. It is also a good idea to have a work environment that is free from distractions.
As you can see being a translator requires many skills, but these skills can be developed and once developed your productivity and the high-quality product will impress your clients. Satisfied clients lead to repeat business, which in turn leads to the growth of your business.