All posts by Kseniya

What are the skills of a good translator?

Homeland Language Services has a professional team of translators. For more than 6 years they provide our clients with high-quality translation. We definitely know what skills a good translator should have and our translators have these skills!

Translators don’t just convert words from one language to another. They are working with the meaning of the text, considering the specifics of the industry and the culture of the original and target languages. So, the basic translator’s skills are:

  1. 1. Language knowledge.

It is an obligatory skill for language specialists. The ability to speak and write fluently in at least two languages is the main characteristic of a translator’s profession. The best specialists are usually bilingual.

  1. 2. Cultural awareness.

Studying languages: translators are studying cultural peculiarities as well. It helps to understand and translate idioms, references, and slang from one language to another language. The cultural awareness of the translator makes communication smoother.

  1. 3. Writing.

Writing skills have a few components: grammar, punctuation, and style. Grammar and punctuation rules are different in various languages, that’s why good translators should study them carefully. And in terms of examples of writing styles, there are descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and argumentative.

  1. 4.Research.

The translation requires research all the time. The translator should be very confident during the word conversion from one language to another. That’s why he or she should confirm the rules for different languages and the meaning of different cultures.

  1. 5. Computer skills.

Translators generally use several computer programs to work on their projects and be organized. Among them are Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, and CAT tools. CAT or Computer-assisted translation tools are used to refine the pre-final translation. There are different types of CAT software, such as Language search engine software, Terminology management software, Translation memory software, Interactive machine translation software, and Text alignment software.

  1. 6. Reading comprehension.

This skill can boost translation skills. Translators should have a deep understanding of the text they are translating to optimize text value correctly.

  1. 7. Attention to detail.

“Details make the difference”, that’s why they are so important. Accuracy is one of the top-skills of a good translator. He or she should be eager to avoid even small errors in their translations because sometimes can cost a life, especially when we are talking about medical or judicial translations.

  1. 8. Specialization.

Industry specialization comes along with cultural awareness and accuracy. The best translators knows the particular industry and the better quality he or she performs in their projects. The majority of specialized translators have degrees in their fields of expertise. Homeland Language Services gets the largest amount of requests for translations in the medical, business, and legal industries.

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Today is VETERANS DAY

The day to honor whom all served.

On behalf of Homeland Language Services, we express our respect and admiration for all veterans and our Co-founder and COO Ernesto Lanazca.

Ernesto Lanazca, Homeland Language Services Co-founder and COO:
“Veterans day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices that our veterans have made for our country. You are a part of history, and your bravery will never be forgotten or underestimated. Thank you for leaving a safer world for your children and grandchildren.

To all my comrades, Happy Veterans Day!”

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Halloween at Homeland Language Services

This was a Halloween week for our worldwide team! On October 31st, Homeland Language Services’ team gathered virtually and in person and had a trick-or-treat party 🤡
We had a great time, we were able to play games and win sweet prizes! We would like to congratulate:
🥇Michael Berrospi, Compliance Supervisor
🥈Solana Petrecca, Talent Acquisition Specialist
🥉Florencia Gómez, Localization – Translation Department Supervisor
They won our Costume Contest! Thank you all for participating in this contest 🎃
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Feedback from Over-the-Phone Interpreter, working at Homeland Language Services

At Homeland Language Services, we are sure that we need to give a voice to our employees. This way, we want to show our values not only in the corporate presentation or on our website but from real people who work in our company. 

Recently, our Business Support Coordinator Kseniya talked to Spanish-English Over-the-Phone interpreter Camila Rivas about her interpreting career. 

Camila Rivas from Argentina started working at Homeland Language Services in April 2022. Her native language is Spanish. Camila mentioned that she didn’t know a lot about Homeland Language Services, but she liked the onboarding process very much. The HR team answered all her questions and gave a clear understanding of the job. 

The first thing Camila enjoyed was not a thing. She likes our team, our people. 

Camila didn’t have experience in interpreting. She worked as a simultaneous interpreter one day. But she had all the skills to get the job at Homeland Language Services and be successful.

Camila happily recommends our company as an employee and as a language services provider. Why? Watch the interview with her and discover why:

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Happy World Animal Day!

This day aims to raise awareness about the abuse and illegal killing of animals around the world and highlight how important it is to protect them and assure their welfare. It is our responsibility to make sure that both wild and domestic animals are kept safe in their habitats.

Our Homeland Language Services Team adores animals. That’s why we share this video with you with our pets! We love them, treat them, and thank them! They help us to be happy and many times, they help us reduce our stress during busy times. And sometimes they help us to work during the meeting, while we are providing the best interpreting and translating services 🙂

Corporate pets in the video from pet-friendly language services provider:

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Happy International Translation Day!

September 30th is a special day for our team of translators and their team leads. International Translation Day is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding, and cooperation. We are proud to have such strong and high-skilled language specialists on board. With their help, we provide high-quality translation services in the USA and worldwide. 

We talked to our Translation Department team to discuss why this day is so important for them. 

Florencia Gomez, Localization-Translation Department Supervisor:

“Today we celebrate the International Translators’ Day in reference to St. Jerome, a priest who translated the Bible from Hebrew into Latin.

His journey in translation could spread the word into all different cultures and make it accessible to a wider audience.

Translators play a fundamental role in bringing the world together, from Peace Treaties to your favorite Pop Song; they make science available to different countries so everyone can access all the most advanced literature.

That’s why, as the Project Manager and Translation Department Supervisor, and translator myself, in Homeland Language Services, I would like to congratulate our staff on their day and remember that your role is greatly appreciated in bringing peace, knowledge, development between nations and cultures all around the globe.”

Martina Viegas, Linguist Quality Specialist:

“As translators, we have a huge and important responsibility and we are liable for our works. We’re living in a globalized world and that’s where our role lies. We connect cultures, we build bridges between cultures and people for them to communicate, we make it possible. We must have the ability to transform everything so nothing changes, what an irony, right? And to be where we are, all of us experienced situations that -good or bad- strengthened our powers. 

Personally, becoming a translator was not easy at all, but acting as a professional translator when graduating was the difficult part, almost the most difficult part of my life! (The most  difficult was to study translation while being a single mom of a disabled child). Anyway, at college you have your guiding people, but after that, you’re left alone in the world. Fortunately, I soon became part of this amazing Homeland Language Services team and I love it. And it doesn’t matter if you’re working freelance or in-house, but you love so much what you do that you wake up happy thinking you have to work, this is called passion. This profession requires passion to succeed, and of course lack of sleep and tones of coffee. I had to fail to succeed, make a mistake to learn, fall to stand up. I could tell many stories to demonstrate it’s not a fairy tale, but each of us has to pave our own way. 

In my experience, every time I had to make a hard decision and I said NO, something better came to my life. So don’t be afraid of valuing yourself and valuing and honoring our profession, happy day for all translators who make the world a better place!”

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How to provide high-quality translation services?

Homeland Language Services’ translators have enormous experience working with different types of texts. With their help, we gathered some tips and advice for novice or freelance translators to become successful in their job.

Any professional translator can’t be excused from learning to use new tools and studying new techniques to provide better translations. In Homeland Language Services the translation process involves several stages that freelance translators are often not aware of.

There is much more to translation than simply typing in a foreign language and using CAT tools or translation memory tools. A professional translation service typically requires both a revision (or edition) and proofreading. These are two essential stages that need to take place before we can say that a document is ready to be delivered to the client.

In other words, the professional translation service includes the Quality Control stage in the process. The final text is read (or proofread) additionally before sending it to the client. Of course, we have a team for this, that’s why one document is translated and checked by several specialists. If you are a freelancer, you should implement the quality control stage in your working process. You should never send a project to your client without additional checks and reading it beforehand. 

Nevertheless, it is not the only piece of advice we want to share with you. Familiarize the following list: 

  1. 1. Review the document or files before starting a translation and check all the requirements from the client. Make sure that you received the right copies before starting translation. 
  2. 2. Work with the texts from your expertise industry. This way you can guarantee the quality of the translation. If you don’t specialize in the topic of a proposed project, think twice before agreeing on this job. 
  3. 3. Check the file format. Generally, files should be sent in a translation-friendly format with a translation memory. Also, don’t change the CAT tool, if the client specified it. By doing this you will save time and money using a tool that gives full compatibility with the initial formatting. 
  4. 4. Try to use glossaries, style guides, and terminology databases as much as possible. Sometimes, clients can send you a glossary or database together with material for translation. Use it! You can import it into a CAT tool and use the right terminology. 
  5. 5. Be honest. You should ask all questions, evaluate the deadline, and set and confirm the price before starting to provide translation service. 
  6. 6. Check your finished translation against the source for missing text or formatting issues. 
  7. 7. Check your finished translation (yes, once again). You should proofread it by yourself if you are a freelancer. If you work together with the editor, forward the project to him/her. 
  8. 8. Leave notes or comments for the client or editor. When you send the final version of the material, write a shorе accompanying letter. Even if there were no issues to mention, write that the process went smoothly. Clients appreciate it when you pay attention and show your concern about the project. 

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The British Queen Elizabeth II, who weathered war and upheaval, died at 96

Queen Elizabeth II was the UK’s longest-serving monarch. She died at Balmoral aged 96 on September 8, 2022, after reigning for 70 years.

She died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at Balmoral, her Scottish residence. Her son King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world. King Charles, aged 73, became head of state in 14 Commonwealth realms.

A state funeral for the Queen is expected in the next two weeks.

Thousands of people gathered outside Buckingham Palace after the death was announced.

Queen Elizabeth II died after seven months she marked the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. During her long reign, she saw and impacted the transformation of the British empire: Britain modernized from a war-weary declining imperial power into a modern multi-cultural state.

Elizabeth ruled over the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms and became one of the most recognizable women ever to have lived.

The Queen was last seen in public last Tuesday. She formally appointed Liz Truss (on the photo above) as the UK’s new prime minister. A photograph from the audience showed the monarch smiling. Truss is the 15th – and the last – British Prime Minister to be appointed by Elizabeth.

This news shocked everyone. It feels like our world became lonely, like orphans without parents. But our Homeland Language Services team decided not to finish this material sadly. We found some warm words about the Queen from her interpreters.

Here is special condolence from Lamin Dampha, Lecturer at the University of the Gambia. He claims his grandfather was Queen Elizabeth’s Gambian interpreter.

“My late grandfather was the official interpreter during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Gambia, which was part of her Royal tour of West Africa in December 1961. In the early 1990s, Queen Elizabeth II invited Second World War veterans to London for an award of medals. My late grandfather was part of the three-man Gambian delegation to Buckingham Palace.
On behalf of my uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters, I extend my condolences to the family and people of the United Kingdom for the death of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Dampha said.

Chinese translator Kevin Lin recalls his memories of Queen Elizabeth II.

The news about Queen’s death is very sad for countless people around the world. But let’s remember her as a wise woman with a great sense of humor. This video will help us to do it:

Thank you, Queen Elizabeth II, for 70 years of reign, for the epoch in world history!

 

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Basic lifehacks for interpreters

Being an Over-the-Phone or Onsite Interpreter is very challenging. An interpreter can help people communicate. Especially, interpreters must help patients to get proper medical treatments or legal advice. However, interpreters need lots of things to learn. They improve their skills and knowledge all the time.
We expect a lot from the knowledge of the second language, but it doesn’t give us the right to call ourselves interpreters. Experienced interpreters remember the lifehacks that helped them at the beginning of their careers. Here are some of them:

1. Get ready before meeting

When you check the details and get prepared before a meeting or shift, you feel more confident.
If you are an onsite interpreter, always get the address where the meeting is held, and where you should work. Check the time for a trip, places for parking, or opportunities to use public transport.
If you work online, check the platform for conferences, webinars, meetings, or calls. It is always a good idea to make a test call to be sure, that your camera, microphone, and headset work properly.
Take some time to refresh the vocabulary that can be used during your interpreting session. More information before you have about subject, speakers, companies or organizations – more effective will be your job.

Such details in preparation will save you time, money, and nerves.

2. Analyse previous experience and improve it

Make time to analyze your previous experience. It will help you to make conclusions about how to improve your job in the future. Don’t focus only on weak places and mistakes. Always take into account your strong skills and difficult cases where you performed successfully. This “homework” will help you to discover your strong characteristics and make them stronger, together with that you will see your weak places and improve them as well.

3. Ask for detailed instructions and follow them

When you are working for the agency, language provider (such as Homeland Language Services, for example), or even for an individual client, be sure that you know everything about your job position. Each of them has its own “rules of the game” and you should be ready to follow them. For example, agencies can ask for special reports or shifts, individual clients can provide the timetable of the meeting and vocabulary for it. You should be 100% aware of your responsibilities to get the work done.
Moreover, don’t forget to discover all the questions about your contract: salary, weekends and vacations and other vital conditions for you.
This way you will be on the same page with your employer or client initially.

4. Be a professional

Take one minute to think about what characteristics a professional interpreter should have. Add to them:

– improving the knowledge of Protocol
– continuous training
– development of emotional intellect and hard skills
– gaining certifications
– joining industry associations

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