How to improve translation skills and get more customers
How to improve translation skills
Translation is a tough business, and it is quite a challenge to be a translator these day. In order to become a professional translator, you need to know how to improve translation skills in order to get more customers. If that is what you want, read on.
1. Ensure that your writing skills in your native language are excellent
The number 1 advice on how to improve translation skills is obviously the ability to master your languages. If you want to be a successful freelance translator, it is very important for you to be a prolific writer who has excellent grammar skills and detailed knowledge about different styles of writing in the native language. You should remember that the things that native speakers who already have a lot of experience with the language will read your translated work.
Thus, it is very important to make sure that you are able to write things at a level on which the audience will read. Referring to style guides, reading journals and newspapers in the target language are some the things that can make you a better translator.
2. Great comprehension and reading skills in your source language
It is also very important for you to be fluent in the source language to understand the text which needs to be translated. Spending time in a country where this source language is spoken, listening or reading materials in that language and taking a language course in source language can make things better for you.
3. Great command of the second language
When you are translating a text, you don’t just have to replace a word with the preferred word of another language. Machines can do this too. This makes it very important for any translator to be almost fluent in the second language too.
4. Cultural knowledge of source and target language
To be a successful freelancer, it is also very important to make sure that you understand the cultural differences between different countries where the source and target languages are spoken. Even if the translation is very good but the cultural difference is not taken into consideration, the goal of the client will not be achieved. Spend some time to know more about the cultures and you can also take a course to study different cultures.
5. Try to be a specialist in a few areas
The more experience you have in a particular field, the better will be the translation results. Try to be a specialist in one or a few subject areas and you will automatically turn into a go-to option for translating things related to those subject areas. You can select a subject area based on your experience, academic specialization, etc.
Once you have gained some experience in the industry, you should then start focusing on marketing yourself. Starting your own blog or website, joining online communities, etc. are some of the ways you can use to market yourself. Also, make sure that you are always ready with your resume as well as rates. Not having a proper resume or not having an idea about how much you should charge for your service is a big sign of unprofessionalism.
7. Don’t stop learning
As you move further in your freelancing career, you should also continue to learn more. You can learn about new subject areas, get certified, or take a new course to further enhance your skills. The more you know, the better will be your work and the more you’ll be able to charge for your services.
Use the above-mentioned tips on how to improve translation skills and you’ll definitely be much better than before and will be better prepared for success.
How can I practice my translation skills?
You can practice your translation skills at home by translating various documents and papers. You can translate newspapers because they have the type of formal writing which is only written on official documents. You can also translate flyers to work on your informal writing skills. Writing a journal in your second language will also improve your translation skills.
How can I improve my translation quality?
You can improve your translation quality by:
- Reading as many books as you can.
- Reading newspaper regularly.
- Practicing regularly by translating newspapers and other documents.
- Maintaining a journal. It is best if you write in it in both your first and second languages.
- Reviewing your previous translations and reading them out loud to yourself.
What skills should a translator have?
A translator should have:
- Language skills. They should have complete command on both of the languages they know.
- Writing skills. Having good writing skills is very important in translation. It is the only way a language expert can write for all kinds of audiences.
- Computer skills. A translator should know how to use translation software and create documents in their computer.
How do I prepare to be a translator?
In order to become a translator, you should:
- Get a degree in either your first language or translation studies
- Practice your translation skills at home as much as you can
- Gain experience by working for an organization
- Read extensively to improve your vocabulary
- Work on your writing skills by starting a journal or blog
How can I improve my writing skills in a foreign language?
- Read as much as you can.
- Learn all the grammar rules and practice them daily.
- Try to think in the foreign language whenever you are writing.
- If you can, use a spell checker on your writing.
- Review your writings so you can learn from your mistakes.
- Discuss your writing skills with native speakers of that language.
What are your strategies when writing?
- Don’t write too many complicated sentences. Simpler words are more likely to draw your readers in.
- Keep the sentences short whenever possible.
- Avoid writing in passive voice.
- Reduce the use of negatives in sentences.
- Write in sophisticated language when possible. But balance it out with simpler phrases.
- Make lists frequently. It will make your document look cleaner.
How can I improve my writing skills in Spanish?
- Read Spanish newspapers and books to improve your vocabulary.
- Practice writing in a journal.
- Review your journal regularly so you can notice the mistakes you have made.
- Communicate with a native Spanish speaker through writing or ask them to review your writing.
- Watch movies and TV shows with Spanish subtitles.
How do you overcome poor writing skills?
You can overcome poor writing skills by:
- Improving your vocabulary.
- Reading books and newspapers extensively.
- Learning grammar rules to avoid mistakes in your documents.
- Watching language lessons on YouTube on topics that confuse you.
- Trying to think in the language.
- Maintaining a journal and writing freely in it without the fear of judgement.