Have you ever wondered how it is to be a translator? Have you ever dreamt of becoming a person that is fluent in a foreign language and uses their skills every day? Let’s figure it out and take up a challenge. We are going to answer what are some difficulties that a translator faces over and over? Is it well worth the effort? As you already can notice this is a very complex but at the same time practical topic that certainly requires to laser in on it for a while.

First of all, there are many different kinds of translations. We need to sort them out a bit to understand the basics. We have two categories of translations of texts: written and oral. Written ones give a translator more time to think and prepare the final translation, while oral ones require immediate reaction, elocution, focus and most of all to be well-prepared linguistically.

Oral translations are much more stressful and we distinguish two kinds of them: consecutive and simultaneous. The first one is when the translator listens to a fragment of the text and then translates it. Therefore, the whole process takes quite a while and is typical of official meetings and celebrations. The second type of translation is based on creating a translation of the text at the same time as it is spoken – the translator and the speaker work simultaneously. A variation of simultaneous translations is the so-called booth interpreting, which means that the interpreter can use specialised equipment (headphones, microphone, receivers) during their work and use a soundproof booth. This type of translation most often applies to lectures, conferences and international meetings of a less official nature.

Moreover, we can distinguish a combination of both kinds of the translations and it is called a vista translation. The translator translates spoken to written text on the fly. This situation most often takes place in notary offices, in courtrooms and in other places related to the law.

This field of linguistics is huge and complex and that is what it makes the translator’s job not an easy one. During the translation process many mistakes can be committed and the translator has to be aware of it and take into the consideration such aspects as: cultural context, features characteristic of a given language, including idioms, writing system, alphabet differences, etc. In general this person needs to be well-versed.

Due to the style and type of the translated text, specialised, also called technical, translations are distinguished. In this case, the translator must demonstrate a wide range of skills in a given field, because the texts relate to various topics – law, medicine, IT, economics, tourism and many others. Therefore, not only knowledge of specialised vocabulary is needed, but also other knowledge. For instance special skills and vocabulary are needed in the preparation of literary and poetry translations which are written in an artistic way. The translator needs to focus on the cultural context, a certain stylistic sense and translate it in a way that does not lead to it losing its original meaning.

Another type are sworn translations, also known as certified translations. These texts are more demanding because they are official and need to be created in a legal language. Therefore, the translator must have professional and reliable knowledge of the trade vocabulary in a given foreign language. Such translations are typical for contracts, expert opinions, diplomas, official letters and many other important documents.

There is also one more thing worth mentioning. Transcreation is about taking a concept in one language and completely recreating it into another language – it is normally applied to the marketing of an idea, product or service to international audiences. The language, therefore, must resonate with the intended audience.

To wrap it up, is it worth becoming a translator? Of course, especially when we have such wide a range of translators. You can choose the kind of translations or a linguistic field in which you want to specialise. You can choose the location of your job like, for example, a translation office, your home or wherever you are currently staying in the world. The more languages you can use, the more you are desired.

Isn’t it a broad spectrum? This variety of choices makes a translation job unique and modern. Despite the development of translation technology and the world becoming more and more automated, translators will still be in need.

With a motivational twist at the end: No pain, no gain! And in this case, it is always worth learning a foreign language and becoming a master in it.


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