After being a translator and editor of English to Chinese translation for almost 3 years, I think it’s time for me to summarize what I have learnt from this position and try to improve myself.
I think it is fair to say that translation is a tiring job. Mastering two languages is hard enough, while trying to figure out all those difficult terms from different fields is more exhausting and time consuming.
The first reward I get from this job is that I learnt how to analyze an English sentence both grammatically and pragmatically. Only this way can you translate them correctly.
The sentences of some technological documents are just twisted. Firstly you have to find out the subject, the predicate verb and the object, and then you put the adjunct words around them.
The second step is a bit difficult sometimes as you do not know which words or phrases modify which structure, so you have to figure that out from the context, your basic and professional knowledge.
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The second thing is to not just write Chinese, but write smooth and readable Chinese without a translation trace. We all used to have the misconception that translation is more about the source language while it is really more about the target language.
Sometimes it is just difficult to write the sentence smoother even you know what you are trying to say. This requires some talent but still we can do it better by training. Read the Chinese translation the next day after you have translated it to see if the sentences are natural to you, and what would you have written them if you have another chance. Do this often and you would get better.
Thanks to this job, I can always learn new knowledge and information from various fields. To name one, I am much better at searching information than before now.
When I first engaged in this job, I just searched for one time or two if I encounter new terms that I did not know and said I could not figure that out after trying. The truth is, there are many ways to search those terms. You have to try many times and with different key words to get what you want.
Of course there is always more to learn to improve. One of my weaknesses is my Chinese. I should learn from other editors to write better Chinese sentences, hence get a better translation, and be a better translator and editor.