Translation is a comprehensive subject that integrates language, culture, psychology, literature and information theory, covering social, political, economic, cultural, technical as well as religious areas. As a result, to be a good translator, at lease the following training should be made:

Proper knowledge structure

The knowledge structure here at least includes the following.

1. Strong language basis. Firstly, it refers to English language itself; secondly, it may refer to master of similarities and differences between both source language and target language. Therefore, in order to improve the language competence it is not enough to rely on the translation skills without sufficient amount of reading, which is not so helpful from the long run.

In terms of knowing the similarities and differences between both languages, translators should strengthen their contrasting studies, including vocabulary, syntax, and structure. Regarding to vocabulary, English language use many nouns and preposition and Chinese language use many verbs; English has articles such a, an, the, and Chinese don’t have; English does not have measure word, but Chinese has. With regards to structure, Chinese sentence structure is connected by means of sequence of events, while English sentence structure by logical relation.

2. Encyclopedic knowledge. A qualified translator should not only have professional language but also know something of everything. Try to read more and learn more

Read Also: Mo Yan and his Translators

Learn some translation theory

  1. Some people may think that it is no use to learn theory, which is too unilateral and impractical. In fact, translation theory itself is the summary and essence of the experience of translators. Learning and managing some theory can not only explain many translation phenomenons, but also help translators to improve their skills. So except for knowing some basic translation theory and flexible use of various skills, translators should also summarize their practical experience and learn from others.
  2. Knowing different categories of translation

Translation activities cover wide areas. As a translator, it is important to know clearly the category of his or her translation practice, which is very helpful for explaining translation phenomenon, nature and method. For example, English to Chinese translation and Chinese to English translation may have different requirements with translators.

Strong degree of responsibility

  • Translators should be of strong degree of responsibility, which includes sound political responsibility and good professional ethics. Translators have to be good at using correct position, idea and method to analyze the content. In addition, they must know their mission and dedicated to fulfill it in a serious and earnest attitude, for unknown or unfamiliar things, do not take the words too literally and walk through. Do responsible for author, reader and conscience of translators themselves.