Characteristics & Qualities of a Good Translator

by Kim Mandel

A good translator is passionate about languages; a perfectionist and persistent. It is also very important they...

...are ethical. What does that mean? It means they respect the client’s deadline. They must keep their word and deliver the translation in the agreed upon time. It is unethical to accept a job and then not comply with the client’s deadline. If for some reason, the translator is unable to deliver the work on time, they must notify the client. A serious aspect of unethical behavior is sharing the client’s confidential information. Not respecting confidential information is a grievous breach of trust. Overcharging clients is another example of unethical conduct. Every translator has the responsibility to be ethical. It’s that simple.

Promoting your product or service to your target audience in their native language is a highly effective marketing strategy. Here are some tips about what to look for when choosing a qualified translator: A translator needs to be a good writer with a comprehensive understanding of both the native language being translated as well as the target language. Just as important, it’s essential they know the cultural differences between the two languages. They should be an effective link between both languages, relaying the meaning of the original text precisely and in an appropriate manner. Translating is not just taking words in one language and changing them into another. There are apps that can do that. However, a human wrote the text and another human is essential to capture the nuances behind those words. Skill and experience are indispensable to correctly analyze the text’s meaning.