First, I’d like to mention that the concept of translator I will discuss in the passage is only limited to experts who handle written translations.
There is no doubt that a translator must be skilled at the native language and his foreign language. Reading and writing are two top priorities for him or her to handle continuously and well. As a wise sentence indicates, “practice makes perfect”, language learners need to practice using it to express ideas or concepts.
A translator, in essence, is helping authors express ideas in a different language. So he needs the bridging power of native and foreign languages to communicate with authors and help them advertise their ideas or thoughts. In all, good command of languages can make a translator keep being objective and standing.
Besides the language proficiency, a translator is always curious about everything and spends a lot of time understanding basic concepts concerning diverse subjects or disciplines. He knows clearly what kind of materials he is good at translating.
For instance, a professional translator might locate himself in the finance or IT field, then he studies this subject as hard as university students majoring in finance or computer do. He should form a systematic structure of knowledge in that aspect. He reads tons of professional books and keeps this habit in his service as a translator.
Though a translator must be objective in expressing the original ideas in translating, it is not necessary for him to limit his wording and usage of the figure of speech. As far as I have noticed and many co-workers complained, most of the translators are urgent to pursue speedy efficiency without consideration cast over re-wording or lubricating passage structure or expressions.
A responsible translator, he needs to make a clear record of his previous exercises and works for future re-translation to find out improvements. Personally, I prefer a live and fresh style of expression that could be easy with readers.
Such awkward or difficult words even make translators impatient and painful. So it is better for publishers to launch bilingual books with original and translation together in a book. However, this wish should be based on the requisite condition that readers have a certain understanding capability.
I also think writing propels translation work. A translator needs to practice writing in both native and foreign languages, in which he can immerse himself in the output of language points and create a comfortable language environment. More importantly, he structures whole passages, through which he develops his logic that can be a big hand in understanding authors’ ideas in lines of materials.
By the way, I think oral presentations can exert the same effect on translators themselves because such public speeches will help you organize your thoughts and harbor good ways of idea conveyance.
When the topic of a professional translator comes to me, I also have a big picture of a happy guy. As we all know, translation sometimes tortures translators, in terms of its professionalism, its broad scope, diverse wording styles of different authors, and so on. Under pressure, he needs to keep his body energetic and brain fresh. So sports and entertainment are good choices for a translator to adopt in life.
I have been feeling left behind so far by professional translators in the aspect of knowledge scope, flexibility in wording, and usage of figures of speech. I prepare to work on the two main parts this year, hoping I can make loving progress through daily practice.