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The qualities of a good translator By: Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar

Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


Levels of knowledge

What differs a good translator from the person knowing one or several foreign languages? 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


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.

Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


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


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


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.

Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


Oral translation 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.

Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


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 translation. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION 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) Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


In short, a good translator should be a competent and proficient bilingual, familiar with the subject/area of the SL text chosen for translation. 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


Internet Resources: •(Translation - Significance and Scope By Shiben Raina) •What is a professional translator?

Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar



Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


The qualities of a good translator  

Introduction to Translation, LANE 350

The qualities of a good translator  

Introduction to Translation, LANE 350