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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
“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.
- 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.
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!”
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Be honest. You should ask all questions, evaluate the deadline, and set and confirm the price before starting to provide translation service.
- 6. Check your finished translation against the source for missing text or formatting issues.
- 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. 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.
Both interpreters and translators help our world to live and develop. They are bridging the gap between different languages, countries, and cultures. Thanks to the work of language specialists the world economy, the medical industry, and the legal sphere work like a clock.
We are constantly talking about two job positions: interpreters and translators. It is time to define the differences between them!
Interpreters do the talking.
Translators do the writing.
But let’s dig in more.
Interpreters work with spoken or sign languages. They convert speech from a source language into a target language and vice versa. Interpretation also has different kinds, such as Over-the-Phone, Onsite, and Video-Remote interpretation.
Interpretation is far more than having a decent knowledge of two languages. The language specialist should be aware of the cultural features, be tolerant and keep a calm tone of voice.
Interpretation in two directions:
Nowadays, most interpreters work in two directions. That means interpreters transfer information both to and from the target and source languages. It is more common for Over-the-Phone, Video Remote interpretation. Meanwhile, Onsite interpretation can have only one direction. For example, Conference interpreters interpret from the source language to the target language and that’s it.
Main types of interpretation:
Simultaneous interpreting is a type of interpretation when a language specialist listens to and comprehends the source language and simultaneously provides an interpretation in a target language.
Such type of interpretation is widely used in the court, international meetings, and television news broadcasts.
Consecutive interpreting allows the language specialist to listen to several complete sentences in the source language and then interpret them in a target language. Consecutive interpretation is the usual method of communication for OPI, VR interpretation, and small and face-to-face meetings.
Specialization in interpreting:
To be effective, the accurate majority of interpreters choose their specialization. They often specialize themselves in certain areas like medicine, law, business, finance, technology, government, social services, or culture.
To provide high-quality services, the interpreter should always improve his or her knowledge in both languages he or she works with.
Translators work with written text, converting a message in the source language into a message in the target language. It is far more than replacing one word with another. The translator should see and understand the context, the cultural characteristics, moreover the translator should save the style and the tone of the incoming text.
One direction, but a good knowledge of both languages:
Translators get the text in one language and translate it into another one. In most cases, they have one target language and it can be their native one. But sometimes, the translator can work with several languages, for example, he can work in such language pairs as English-Spanish and English-Portuguese.
Specialization in translation:
The same as interpreters, good translators also have specialization in definite niches. This way they can continuously improve and deepen their knowledge in terminology and communication features in the languages they work.
That’s the major difference between these two language jobs.
When you are searching for an interpreter near you or a translator near you, pay attention to their experience, specialization, and feedback from clients. Or you can consult with a specialist or a language provider about what type of specialist you need. For example, Homeland Language Services managers will be happy to find the best solution for you personally, or for your business.
If you are a translator or interpreter, who is reading this text and searching for a job, please, follow our Career portal link and apply for your new career stage!
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.”
With the changing times in our economies, it is crucial to keep track of future trends. Translation and interpretation services in the USA are in demand in every industry now. However, worldwide development causes changes to this type of service and affects the future of the language industry.
If you represent a business, company, or organization working with different nationalities you need to learn about the improvements for your career and business investment. Among all, there are many questions on the sustainability of translation and interpreting services. Here are a few things that will define some cases about them.
Every other industry is looking into automation for efficiency. Nowadays, translation and interpretation services are embracing automation. Service providers are finding more ways to optimize workflows to save time and money.
New software in the language industry has caused significant changes in how interpreters work now. For instance, Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) helps translators use less time to complete tasks. Using such software, the interpreter can focus on the creative output while the machine handles more technical parts of work.
Content management systems include more options to reduce the turnaround required to complete translations. With special tools, translators can eliminate redundant emails and file transfers while improving accuracy.
Newer services will emerge
It is expected that in the future, there will be high demand for newer services. As the world shifts to digitalization, translation and interpretation will adapt to a new arrangement. People will likely start requesting different forms of translation services in bigger amounts.
Recently, subtitling, captioning, and transcription has been really popular. Small and medium companies, content creators, and film production companies are among clients who are looking for such services. Besides, the rise of streaming services has seen a steady increase in the demand for translation services.
Services will be better and global
The translation and interpretation services will be better, faster, and more accessible. Technology is turning everything from simple to efficient and global. There are no more restrictions on where you can get the services you need.
Globalization has brought growth in the industry, and there are several projections that it will keep growing as the world continues to connect to more remote places. Translators and interpreters have a task to tailor their services to meet the growing demands.
Services like localization will do more than translating word to word. Brands have to offer better content that is friendly and easy to understand in a new market. Thus, there is an inquiry for creative and engaging content that captures people from different cultures.
Secure cloud environment
The need for a safe cloud environment is ever-growing. The translation and interpreting industry should become familiar with software as a service (SaaS) and web-based technologies. These services are the best way to secure your data from any hacking.
Additionally, cloud-based software helps in processes like file sharing in a protected environment.
The translation and interpretation services in the USA are not left behind either. The services are actively moving to the future. Actually, the future has arrived, and many language companies like Homeland Language Services are on the move to create better services for their clients’ evolving needs.
It is hard for new translators to get translation tasks due to no clear portfolio or track record from previous clients. A new translator can start by offering translation services in the locality or volunteering to clients seeking translation services for testimonials.
When looking for translators in the locality and have nowhere to look for, many clients usually end up typing in the browser, translation services near me. A simple search on the browser can bring up many results and narrow down to the exact location. Getting a correct result from the typical search depends on the location settings of the device on use. Because of this, a new translator should market and register themselves online and make sure they state their location.
Here are some of the tips for new translators to get translation jobs and grow themselves in this piece.
1. Set working days
As a new translator, it is essential to get the working hours and days clearly stated. Some clients might have urgent tasks completed and might look for a translator even during weekends or at night. To avoid being contacted outside the working hours and days, a simple search with working days indicated will make it easy for a client to get you for work.
Having working days also requires that all the work given is completed and communicated effectively to the client. This is important primarily when a task is delivered late, for example, on Saturday, and the translator only works on weekdays.
2. Indicate rates
The hard part for a starting out translator is having standard rates. Getting the right rates for the translation market and match up an entry-level translator’s rates can be very hard to get right. Some translators may end up undercharging more work for less pay, or overcharging and having to scare away clients.
3. Have a niche
Being a general translator can make one lose many clients. Some clients might search for ‘translation services near me in automotive,’ but the translator is a general translator with no niche in the same locality. When contacted, the client might not deem you fit for the task. This is why it is important to niche down and have extensive knowledge in the field of expertise.
4. High-quality translation work
High-quality work will guarantee long-term relationships or expect more work in the future from clients. More tasks in return will help grow your translation business and reach out to many clients.
When starting, it is important to not take much work that you cannot handle for quality work. Fewer tasks with good quality will make the client reach out next time with more jobs. Also, more periodic tasks will improve one’s confidence and help build a strong portfolio when looking for more tasks.
5. Language specialty
Understanding different languages and their cultures will help improve translation quality. It is better to be bilingual and able to understand both cultures and current affairs to provide up-to-date translations. This will improve the reputations earned, and it is sure for more clients in the future.
In contrast, if a client gets a rushed and unprofessional translation with less research, the translator’s reputation will be damaged, and getting future tasks will be slim.
Organizations and companies of all levels in the world are becoming more diverse in culture with each passing time. Often, employees, and particularly to foreign employers, speak less to no English, therefore causing communication barriers within their workplaces. Because of the communication challenges that arise, workplaces seek the best translation companies in the world, which will offer an accurate translation and deliver error-free information.
When thinking about translating workplace documents to facilitate communication, employers and management should have several factors in mind that guarantee high-quality communication. Some of these factors are the budget necessary for translation, turnaround time, confidentiality, understanding of culture, and the materials and situations that require translation. For a translation service provider with these factors, a company ensures employees of different cultures and runs its operations smoothly with no communication barrier.
Ignoring translation services for documents in use at the workplace can lead to less moral, potential legal proceedings, and safety issues. When a company looks at translating their materials into other employees’ and clients’ target language, there are vital documents that need to be at the top of the list.
Signs and Safety Manuals in the Workplace
The foremost thing in any workplace is safety. Suppose a large staff number in a company use English as their second language or speak little to no English. In that case, selecting the best translation companies in the world for translation services will help translate signs and safety manuals. This will help protect everybody within the organization. There are many necessary translations from the simple ‘watch your head’ sign to the complex safety manuals for operating machinery.
From previous cases, more risks and even death resulted from a misinterpretation of signs and safety manuals. To avert such a crisis, having important documents translated brings about harmony at work and easy ways of handling risks when an emergency arises.
When a new person signs for work and has a problem speaking English, an employee handbook is an important resource for the new employee. This handbook has all the information about the company policies and procedures, and it also serves as a reference when the employee seeks more information. Translating this document will ensure every new person has all the necessary information and guides them through their work.
Having tax forms only in the English version can put those who speak little English in a disadvantaged position. The employee can file in their tax forms wrongly as a result of misunderstanding English, and this can lead them to get less pay instead of what they are entitled to. More risks may arise, such as tax fraud accusations, yet it is easy to avoid it with tax forms translated to their native language.
Failure to translate medical forms that are used to record illness and injuries can result in mistakes. If the documents are filled inappropriately without understanding, it can lead to ethical or legal issues. Furthermore, this can prove costly for a company when it escalates to a point compensation payout is needed. Many insurance firms have so far estimated that more than a billion dollars are paid out to workers in compensation per week