The qualities of a good translator, by Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar
The qualities of a good
Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar http://wwwdrshadiabanjar.blogspot.com
Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 1
Levels of knowledge
What differs a good translator from the
person knowing one or several foreign
A lot of people know foreign languages, but
it is necessary to remember, that levels of
knowledge can be very different. If you
need to be guided by means of language in
a foreign country or to carry out purchases
it is one thing. If it is required to translate
documents or to carry on negotiations with
a foreign partner, then an incorrect
translation (accidentally or due to lack of
knowledge) can lead to failure.
Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 2
Mistakes in translation become the reason for
misunderstandings between parties. Also cases
are known when the non-professional
translator incorrectly diminishes or adds
something in dialogue between the parties.
Therefore more often than not customers employ
professional translators who can guarantee
the quality of their services.
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Qualities of a good translator
The good translator is a
translator providing an exact
transfer of information, including
preservation of the style.
Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 4
The good translator has, as a rule, a
special linguistic education. He/she
masters not only foreign language, but
also the skills of translation.
Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 5
The good translator has a wide lexicon. He/she has
background knowledge on a theme because while
translating it is often necessary to understand the content
of a subject - whether it be technical translation, legal
translation or translation of documents.
Knowledge of terminology and understanding is
essentially important during oral translation,
especially during simultaneous interpretation.
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The professional translator not only transmits
information but he/she also acts as the
representative of the customer; translation always
contains in itself an imprint of the translator.
Therefore the professional translator should know
perfectly both the foreign and the native language.
Otherwise he/she will not be able to find quickly the
best language equivalents. A live language is filled
by nuances, shades, intonations, and it needs to be
translated in all its varieties.
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Oral translation demands
If the translator speaks the translation after one or several sentences
have been said, it is "consecutive translation". The simultaneous
interpreter speaks at once, practically without a pause.
Oral translation (and especially - simultaneous interpretation)
demands fluency in both languages, ability to connect both
languages, and a perfect knowledge of terminology in the context
of the task.
The professional translator specializing in oral translation
should know protocols and procedures, the situation of the
translation, and be able to observe ethical standards of
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Simultaneous interpretation is very interesting and prestigious kind of
translational activity, but it needs extremely large amounts of nervous
energy. Negotiations are conducted for three or four hours
sometimes without a break, and consistent accuracy is essential.
Therefore one of the more important qualities of the professional
translator is the skill to overcome stressful situations.
The professional translator should develop language skills and
extend knowledge in each area where he/she works. It demands a
continuous process of education process during all their career. Such
a translator extends their skills constantly and purposefully by using
their languages in many contexts. (Translation - Significance and Scope By Shiben Raina)
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In short, a good translator should be
a competent and proficient bilingual,
familiar with the subject/area of the SL text chosen for
He should never try to insert his own ideas or personal
impressions in the TL text.
His objective should be to convey the content and the intent of
the SL text as exactly as possible into the TL text.
A good translator ought to be a good writer.
He does not need to translate everything that has been written,
but to translate the best only.
A good translator adjusts/accommodates and not compromises
with the original text.
Translators are like ambassadors representing and exchanging the
best of their literary world.
(Translation - Significance and Scope By Shiben Raina)
Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 10
•(Translation - Significance and Scope By Shiben Raina)
•What is a professional translator?
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