It is widely thought that speaking a foreign language gives you the ability to be a translator, but this job is not as easy as it seems. We gathered a list of qualities that a good translator should have, as well as a story from one of our personnel who created the meaning of a new word.
So, the question is: what are the characteristics of a good translator?
- 1. Passion and curiosity: Professional translators are passionate about what they do and try their best to deliver high-quality projects.
- 2. Skilled in linguistics and rich in vocabulary: Certified translators at Homeland Language Services have undergone extensive education and have considerable experience. Our professionals are constantly trained, gathering new knowledge to provide the best services.
- 3. Accuracy and honesty: Providing accurate information is essential for translations. The goal of professionals is to express the source text as clearly as possible without ambiguity.
- 4. Appreciation for other cultures: Diplomacy is their motto. They break down misconceptions, stigmas, and other language barriers, so as to prevent misunderstanding between different cultures.
- 5. Time management skills: Tight deadlines are part of the daily challenges; every minute can make a difference. Our certified translators cope with high-stakes situations when major projects need to be completed in a record time, which is usually in the medical and social industries.
At Homeland Language Services, we are proud of our translators, who possess these great qualities. Fortunately, Ahmed Ali — one of our Arabic-English interpreters from Egypt— has shared with us the story about his translator experience:
“During my college days, I’ve had two major military translation projects. The first one was when my professor chose three of my colleagues —who had top scores in the exams— and myself to assist him with a military translation for a training project report between Saudi and American Air forces.
It was a challenging project, as it was a new field of translation for me and it was the first time I had a deadline to finish my share. Additionally, it was a classified document, so we could only work in our professor’s office with him.
The second project I’d worked on was my graduation project, where he asked us to translate a book in the military field that had not been translated before. I managed to find a book about Military siege tactics across history up to the modern ages.
One of the main challenges I have ever faced was a new word that was not found in any dictionary. After researching in vain, I informed my professor who advised me to fashion a new meaning out of the context. After he approved it, he decided to add it to his own Dictionary, which he was about to release.
Later on, I managed to put a glossary together after I finished translating the book. As a glossary was extra work and I was the only one who included it, my professor gave me the highest score and I managed to graduate with excellence.”