Tiantongyuan

Full Version: So you desire to become a translator?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
So, You Would Like To Be A Language Expert?
There are two main things I want to do on this page: first, I would like to say several things to people considering entering the translation profession. Mostly I would like to clear up some myths, but there are also several things I just plain think everyone who’s contemplating or practicing translation has to hear. Second, for people thinking about what kind of background you'll need or steps you can take to become a translator, I want to talk a little bit about the skills required and how to go about getting them.

I write this article not with the belief that I am the greatest Translator of All Time, but with the knowledge that I am still growing and that every single thing I say still applies to me and always will. In fact, I hope I’ll always be growing as a translator. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But in my career I’ve had the opportunity to be on both sides of the process: on one side the translator being evaluated and working under supervision, and on the other side the person evaluating translators-both making suggestions on hires and quality checking other people’s work. It’s a rather unique set of experiences and it’s let me see a lot of things regarding the translating processes of myself and others, and about new translators I see entering the area.

On Translation | Developing the Skills
Part 1: Opening Comments - On Translation
Over the last decade I’ve been asked a lot of questions about translating and becoming a translator. Some have come from aspiring translators, some from current translators, and some from people who were just interested. I’ve also corresponded with people seeking translation jobs.

These experiences have taught me about a number of the ideas people come into the translation field with-and a number of the ideas they don’t. And I’m seeing some gaps between the expectation and the reality of translation that I’d like to address.

1. Your Work Is Not Your Work.

To translate means to deal with the borrowed or the stolen, never the owned. Everything that you are handling is associated with someone else. That shows you are translating, that novel you're translating, it’s someone else’s work. This may seem almost insultingly obvious. But there are many of implications you must think about. The action of translation necessitates an extreme amount of respect. Surrender any impulses of “he should have.” Protect against any thoughts of “making it better” than the original. The greatest artist is excellent because of what you see testified in his work, but the very best translator is great because of his invisibility. You must not insert your own ego. You must not change lightly. You don’t have the right to. It’s exactly the same principle as the man used on guard another man’s wife: your work and your moral duty are to return her in the same condition you found her to the furthest extent possible. Because regardless of whether you love her, you hate her, or you find yourself indifferent to her-it’s your job, and she’s not your wife. You need to be thinking that seriously. If you’re not prepared to live with the constant moral responsibility that translating entails, you shouldn’t be a translator.

2. Some Kinds Of People Make Good Translators, Some Don’t.

Because translation carries such a high degree of ethical responsibility and there are so many cracks by which meaning can slip, a translator absolutely has to be careful. The kind of person that makes an excellent translator is the same kind of person that makes a good librarian: someone who’s a little (or a lot) obsessive-compulsive. Get additional information on this partner portfolio by clicking So you would like to become a translator? | Humour Westindies. Now, of course you don’t need an OCD personality to be a translator. But if it’s not your personality, it’s got to be your attitude. Translating requires intense concentration for long amounts of time and attention to the very tiniest of details. Either you need to get through on sheer meticulousness, or you need an all-absorbing desire for the job. What you’re like in your own personal life, so what. Get more on english translators by navigating to our forceful wiki. However, if you’re a “don’t sweat the details” person about your work, if you skimp on research, if close is good enough for you, this is not the right career option for you. I don’t say this out of the desire to lecture and I’m not trying to scare you off; I’m merely attempting to lay out the truth so you can make an informed decision. I don’t sit in front of my computer every single day shaking like a leaf under the burden of a soul-crushing responsibility and the effort of superhuman concentration, and you shouldn’t either. But we all need to understand the gravity of what we’re doing and be serious about it and honest in our evaluation of whether we can do it well.

3. Understanding Is Less Important Than You Would Imagine.

Don’t think that just because you never remember what that certain really common word you always forget means, you’re never going to be a good translator. In fact, don’t think that forgetting what those ten or twenty words mean will make you a poor translator. Translation is you in a room with your computer; you don’t have to talk to it in real time. Of course vocabulary is significant. But what’s far more important is knowing what you know and what you don’t. In fact, that’s the most important thing. Because if you don’t know and you recognize that, you can always find out. Discover extra information on a related URL - Click here: wakefulpatchwor69 on PureVolume.com™. If you can research as appropriate and you can work out how to find out what you don’t know, remembering the term for “farming” isn’t important. You can always look it up.

4. Knowledge Is More Important Than You Think.

Don’t believe that you can translate Television shows with an A in first-year Japanese class and a dictionary. It simply doesn’t work like that, for Japanese or for any language. Yes, a dictionary can-usually-define a word for you, but language isn’t only a bunch of definitions strung together with elementary grammar. You need to have both a good grounding in Japanese grammar and a good idea of how it’s actually spoken and written out there in real life. There’s always going to be some weird sentence you need assistance figuring out no matter how good you get, but if you don’t have subtle and nuanced enough knowledge of Japanese syntax to understand the grammar of most every sentence you encounter is doing (it’s okay if you have to sit and ponder it for a while first or remind yourself somehow), you’re going to misinterpret and your dictionary cannot save you.

5. You Will Need Good English.

Whatever language you’re translating to, you ought to be really damn good at that language. Say you’re translating from Japanese into English. Advertiser contains more about when to look at it. If your English skills aren’t good enough and you can’t make appropriate choices for how to express something in English, it doesn’t matter how masterful your Japanese is.

6. “I Speak Both Languages” vs. “I’m a Very good Translator.”

For some reason lots of people seem to think that a native speaker of one language is going to be better at translating from that language (actually theorists agree that it’s best to be a native speaker of the language you’re translating into), or that somebody who’s bilingual is going to be good at translating from one of their languages to another. That’s not true. Translation is a skill and an art. Speaking several languages doesn’t make you a good translator any more than being able to see multiple colors makes you a good painter. Much like with any craft, becoming good at translation is part talent, part attitude, part education, and part practice.

7. The Native Speaker Is Not An Oracle.

This is partly an extension of number 6; as we’ve said, speaking a language doesn’t make you a good translator. Therefore it follows that speaking a language doesn’t necessarily equate with being able to answer questions about that language well. Some native speakers are great resources for word meanings and other linguistic issues; some native speakers are horrible resources for those things. And many are somewhere in between: it depends on how good you are at asking the right questions. It’s crucial that you have native speakers as resources if you’re not native in the language you’re translating from, but it’s equally important to select your advisors wisely-and then use them wisely, respectfully, and kindly. Finally, remember that no one is infallible. All of us make mistakes, and all of us have things we’ve got the wrong impression about or just don’t know.


Part 2: Things You Need - On Developing the Skills
The Monterey Institute of International Studies features a ten-point listing of ways to get ready for being one of their translation and interpretation students. It basically says:

-Read extensively in your native language and in the language(s) you translate from.
-Pay attention to the news in all your working languages.
-Take steps to make yourself a knowledgeable and well-rounded individual.
-Spend time abroad.
-Develop your writing, research, analysis, and (for interpreters) presentation skills.
-Get computer experienced.
-Don’t stay up for days at a time and live on junk food.
-Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I think this is a great list that applies to any translator in almost any field.

Becoming a translator at the top of the game takes hard work, dedication and commitment... But many people have proven its possible... Can you?.
Reference URL's