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Can You Really Be a Translator if You're Fluent in Two Languages?

What Does it Take to Become a Certified Translator and Provide Translation Services?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a good translator and provide professional translation services? For starters, having an excellent grasp of a couple of languages will set you on your way.

But just being fluent in two languages may not really be enough for you to qualify as a skilled translator. There is more to translation than just being able to speak a couple of languages, even though this is first and foremost, an obvious requirement.

This article highlights those skills needed by a certified translator and explains why fluency in two languages wouldn’t necessarily qualify you as a translator.

First Step to Being a Certified Translator

The first step to being a certified translator as mentioned earlier is having a good understanding of two languages. However, the fact that you can speak two languages with great fluency does not mean that you are automatically capable of proper translation. But as a general rule in translation, you must be able to speak at least two languages.

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Skills Needed By a Certified Translator to Provide Translation Services

If you want to become a certified translator and provide translation services, then there are some basic skills that you must have other than being blessed with the gift of speaking more than one language.

These translator skills include:

1. Writing Skills: It is not enough that you can speak two languages, but you should be able to write as well. Your ability to successfully translate a language on written form is a clear indication that your knowledge of both languages is really deep.

2. Listening Skills: You cannot offer translation services if you find it hard to listen. Listening to what is being said is very important if your intention is to be a professional translator.

3. Observation Skills: A translator must be able to exhibit excellent observation skills. You might be wondering why observation is important. Well, language is more than just verbal communication. There are a lot of nuisances, gesticulations and body language that goes into every sentence. Knowing what a person is actually saying by observing their body language is part and parcel of effective translation.

4. Cultural Intelligence Skills: As people have varying idiosyncrasies, so also do different cultures. It is important for you to understand when sarcasm is used in a spoken language for example, so that you do not translate the language in a literal context. A trained translator is someone with an in-depth understanding of the peculiar nuisances that every culture exhibits.

5. Computer Skills: It is important in this day and age for translators to have very good computer skills. This is a skill that translators from reputable translation agencies are obligated to have. In today’s world it is mandatory for certified translators to have advanced computer skills.

6. Specialist Understanding and Knowledge: It goes without saying that professional translation services companies periodically train their registered/certified translators. They understand the need for regular training and indeed specialist training in order to churn out translators that are highly proficient in their craft. To this end, professional translators exhibit an advanced language skill level that cannot be achieved from just day-to-day communication.

7. Time Management Skills: Certified translators are able to translate information quickly. This is an important skill to have as a translator stands as a mediator for two or more people. He or she would therefore need to take in information in one language, process the information in another language and communicate effectively with the recipient as if he or she is the one actually communicating with the recipient. A translator offers a two-way translation/communication. So time management is an essential skill to have.

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In Conclusion

The seven skills needed by a certified translator highlighted above can be acquired through painstaking learning. These skills are what differentiates a professional translator from the average Joe. So while you might think that you are equipped as a translator because you can speak two languages, you might want to reconsider that thought. Also, if you ever have a need for a translator, it is best to hire a certified one from a renowned translation company.

If you’re looking for reliable and professional translation services, please contact us today at (718)-730-4343 or by Email: and get your FREE quote for any kind of translation services you need!

A-DOCS, INC. Translation and Apostille Services

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