As a translator, you'll convert written material from one or more 'source languages' into the 'target language', making sure that the translated version conveys the meaning of the original as clearly as possible.
The target language is normally your mother tongue.
Transcreating may also be part of the job, which is a mix of translation, localisation and copywriting, where the text is culturally and linguistically adapted to suit the reader.
You typically need an excellent command of two or more languages. Those most in demand are the official languages of the European Union (EU) and the six official languages of the United Nations (UN).
Types of translation
You can translate a variety of content, including:
- technical documents.
As a translator, you'll need to:
- Read through original material and rewrite it in the target language, ensuring that the meaning of the source text is retained
- Use translation memory software, such as Wordfast, memoQ, Across, SDL Trados and Transit NXT, to ensure consistency of translation within documents and help efficiency
- Use specialist dictionaries, thesauruses and reference books to find the closest equivalents for terminology and words used
- Use appropriate software for presentation and delivery
- Research legal, technical and scientific phraseology to find the correct translation
- Liaise with clients to discuss any unclear points
- Proofread and edit final translated versions
- Provide quotations for translation services offered
- Consult with experts in specialist areas
- Retain and develop knowledge on specialist areas of translation
- Follow various translation-quality standards to ensure legal and ethical obligations to the customer.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming a translator, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career as a translator, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.