Not everybody can be a translator. And I am not saying this out of pride or ego or a sense of superiority. Even though an individual is a certified translator or has graduated in foreign languages or perfectly knows one, two or several foreign languages, this does not necessarily mean he or she also has translating skills. A translator often hears “I know English and I could have translated this document myself, but I have no time”. Not having the right translating skills is not a shame. Every individual has his or her personal talents.
As it is also the case of any other activity, the dedicated (passionate and professional) translator must above all find pleasure in what he or she does. If there is no pleasure, all other qualities I shall refer to below will be non-existent and the final result – the translation – will be of pretty poor quality (I shall exclude from here the source texts written in a language that is of poor quality in terms of terminology and/ or grammar, but this is a topic for another article).
In my opinion, the pleasure of translation means a permanent thirst to learn new things. I have always liked to say that a translator is a mechanic, and a lawyer, and an engineer, and a builder and…, and…, and the list may go on, depending on the areas that are attractive to and bring him or her inner satisfaction. This means that a translator dedicated to the profession he or she carries out will professionally use all resources available in order to translate as accurately as possible, tirelessly searching dictionaries, glossaries, similar contexts on specialised websites, making sure he or she chooses the correct word for that specific area and context. Thus, in the searching process, if there is thirst for knowledge, the translator will enrich his or her knowledge in the areas to translate in. It is very interesting and makes sense, right?
The pleasure of translation also means not limiting oneself, not pretending to be a perfect translator. If a translator starts considering himself or herself perfect merely because he or she has carried out this activity for many years, there is already conflict and boredom. We live in a world that develops very rapidly, both in terms of the Internet and technology (but again, this can be the topic of another article), and also in terms of the changes undergone by a language, particularly due to globalisation. Therefore, I believe that one never has the chance to say “I know enough!” New software and tools or new terms and grammar rules emerge continuously, therefore the mind of a dedicated (passionate and professional) translator must always be alert and “upgrade” to the technologies that develop or appear on the market, in the same manner as he or she “upgrades” the software or computer or other hardware used.
If there is no passion, the dedicated and responsible translator will be non-existent too, because he or she will not cope with the stress that comes along with the tight and very tight deadlines (almost all customers want the translations yesterday or even the day before yesterday, if possible) or with the difficult words that sometimes seem impossible to translate. There should be creativity, imagination, an open mind and solid grammar knowledge. The translator must be patient, search for the terms in dictionaries, check them afterwards on various specialised websites to make sure he or she has chosen the correct term and only afterwards will she or he use it in the text to be translated. The translator must keep the terminology, both in the document he or she is translating, and that specific to the area in which he or she is translating; otherwise, this will cause confusion among readers.
There is no magic. Since Google Translate and other similar applications have appeared, perhaps some people may consider that the translation process is based on some kind of magic, by which the translator presses a combination of keys/ buttons and that’s it, he or she has translated into ANY language. No, a professional customer who focuses on quality will always turn to a specialised translator, and in order to reach the desired quality, hard work, investment in resources and efforts are required.
Besides the passion and professionalism described above, the team of TOP TRADUCERI of Craiova adds a little extra charm to your translations based on one of our favourite mottos: “The expertise and seriousness gained abroad give meaning to your words…”