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Translations have grown to be a lucrative field for many linguistic professionals. Those with a natural affinity for languages, or individuals with a multilingual background may be gravitated towards starting a career as a professional translator. But is that truly all it takes to be a translator? Many often mistake fluency in a language to be a determining factor on whether an individual has the qualifications necessary to become a translator. Unbeknownst to many, translations are a complex field that often requires the additional knowledge of specific subject matter and country specific regulations that exist outside of one’s own jurisdiction.

What exactly qualifies one as a translator?

Those that are unfamiliar with the translation industry will often mistake fluency as the sole factor that will determine an individual’s ability to become a translator. There are several strict requirements that must be fulfilled for one to be considered a translator in any country. Fluency in a language is often not enough when translating a text from one language to another. Many professionals in the industry are required to attain the correct certification that attests to their eligibility in performing a translation service for their clients. This document will certify that the translator meets the linguistic qualifications, and has been approved by a state or language association to be deemed suitable in conducting the translation of texts and documents. It is essential that a linguistic professional has a profound knowledge of languages, and must have a full understanding of the culture behind the language. This deeper understanding of a language will ensure that the translator is fully aware of common phrases and expressions used by a native speaker.

Background knowledge of specific industries is a plus

While being fluent in a language plays a huge role in the qualifications of becoming a translator, having the background knowledge of a document will enable them to precisely adapt a given text into the desired target language. Every document belongs to a specific field, and the type of language used in that field can vary greatly. Oftentimes, how a document is portrayed or how it expresses its ideas can differ greatly between a medical text and an academic text. For this reason, those that have the exposure to the type of language used in the industry can better familiarize themselves with the contents of the text, and use the right terminology in the desired second language. Translators with the industry knowledge of the document can better manage themselves with difficult subject matter, and find the right sequence of words to convey a consistent message from the source document to the target audience.

Full awareness of country-specific translation requirements

Along with the aforementioned criteria for becoming a translator, is the knowledge of translation requirements expected by every country and even independent jurisdictions. Specific countries will call for a different set of rules and regulations when it comes to the translation of texts and documents. It is important that translators are aware of the formalities that exist outside of their immediate country. Professionals that are able to implement such measures with their service will ensure that their client’s translations are suitable for use within the specified country.

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