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what skills a good translator should have?
Most translation theorists agree that translation is understood as a transfer process from a foreign language–or a second language–to the mother tongue. However, market requirements are increasingly demanding that translators transfer texts to a target language that is not their mother tongue, but a foreign language. This is what Newmark calls \”service translation.\”
This fact makes the translating process a harder task, sometimes resulting in a mediocre output that should undoubtedly be revised and post-edited before delivery to the client.
Through experience I have learned that the consequences of wrong translations can be catastrophic–especially if done by laypersons–and mistakes made in the performance of this activity can obviously be irreparable. Just think of what could happen in cases of serious inadequacy in knowledge areas such as science, medicine, legal matters, or technology.
a poor translation can not only lead to hilarity or to minor confusion, but it can also be a matter of life and death. Hence the importance of training translators, not only in the acquisition and command of languages and translation strategies and procedures, but also in specific knowledge areas and, what is equally important, in professional ethics.
If translating is a discourse operation interposing between language and thought (Delisle, 1980), we should accept that in the art or skill of translating we are inexorably going to come across assorted and numerous obstacles. Delisle (1981) illustrates what a subtle form of torture translation is:
Translation is an arduous job that mortifies you, puts you in a state of despair at times, but also an enriching and indispensable work, that demands honesty and modesty.
There are many thorns that can mortify us during the translation process, whatever the nature of the text we face, and translators should be aware of them.
Whatever the difficulty in the translation process, procedures must aim at the essence of the message and faithfulness to the meaning of the source language text being transferred to the target language text. In the words of Nida and Taber (1974): Translating consists of reproducing, in the target language, the nearest equivalent to the message in the source language, in the first place in the semantic aspect and, in the second place, in the stylistic aspect.
To a great extent, the quality of translation will depend on the quality of the translator, i.e. on her/his knowledge, skills, training, cultural background, expertise, and even mood! Newmark (1995b) distinguishes some essential characteristics that any good translator should have following skills:
1. Reading comprehension ability in a foreign language.
2. Knowledge of the subject.
3. Sensitivity to language (both mother tongue and foreign language).
4. Competence to write the target language dexterously, clearly, economically and resourcefully.
Aunes Oversettelser AS has been in the business for 26 years, and we are specialized in technical translations. We are specializing in the Nordic languages, and can offer services into Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic. The premier translation agency for Norway and the Nordic region! Technical translation services for businesses in the Nordic countries and translation agencies world wide. Aunes Oversettelser AS
has been in the business for 26 years, and we are specialized in technical translations. We are specializing in the Nordic languages, and can offer services into Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic. The premier translation agency for Norway and the Nordic region! Technical translation services for businesses in the Nordic countries and translation agencies world wide.