Hiring a freelance translator doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you are going to end up with the highest quality translation services that you can and should get. Plenty of freelance translators work professionally, but do not possess the traits needed to be truly exceptional at their job. So how can you be sure that you are hiring the most highly skilled and experienced freelance translator? Or if you aspire to become a professional freelance translator, what do you need to get your career started? In this post, we will uncover the nine necessary qualities every exceptional freelance translator must have.
1. Honed Research Methods
A translator must possess and continuously hone their research methods and skills. Many times, translators will be provided with some notes regarding the text subject matter that needs to be translated, but additional research is almost always required on the part of the translator. And the ability to readily and thoroughly research a topic is essential for any translator to be great at their job.
2. Passion For Language
Clearly, there are many skills, prerequisites, and requirements needed to become a professional translator. But one overlooked requirement is an authentic passion for language. Without passion, a translator will not care about their work, and without caring about their work, they won’t take pride in it. The best translators have a real zeal and love for the languages that they translate and this is reflected in the work they produce.
With any freelance job, whether it is being a writer, graphic designer, or translator, self-discipline is absolutely vital. Self-discipline is the differentiating factor between efficiency and timeliness and missing a deadline. The best translators understand the importance of maintaining a self-disciplined nature and delivering a high quality product on time every time.
Just because someone is fluently bilingual does not mean they are qualified to be a professional translator. Someone who is bilingual can think, communicate, and express ideas in two different languages, but a professional translator knows how to translate someone else’s ideas. To do this requires a great deal of training, credentials, and experience. While not always required, it is highly recommended to receive some sort of certification before looking for work as a translator.
5. Extensive Knowledge And Specialization in a Certain Subject Matter
The first thing a high quality translator must posses is the ability to translate different languages. But the second thing they absolutely must have is a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter that they are translating. For example, though a medical translator does not need a degree in medicine or prior experience working in the medical industry, they do need to have extensive knowledge of how the human body works, different parts of the body, types of diseases, and so on.
6. Availability And Flexibility
Anyone who has worked as a professional freelancer understands that the flexibility and fluidity the job demands is both a blessing and a curse. While working as a freelancer means having the option to work from home and potentially set your own work schedule, it also means you probably won’t be working conventional, 9-5 work hours. It’s a double-edged sword that requires a person to mentally and physically be able to handle a constantly varying work schedule. If you are good at adapting and staying organized even when your schedule isn’t consistent, you should have no problem working as a professional freelance translator.
7. The Ability to be Meticulous
Being a translator demands many skills, one of which is the ability to pay great attention to detail. The best freelance translators are meticulous and know how to work efficiently and meet deadlines while making sure their work is flawless. They can quickly pick out something that might need editing or is not correct and fix it promptly. Little details such as numbers, symbols, and punctuation are all thoroughly reviewed by a freelance translator before being sent to any client. While the best freelance translators always work swiftly and get things done on time, they never risk the quality of their work by rushing through a project.
8. Timeliness And Organizational Skills
Speaking of getting things done on time, any good translator knows how to meet every deadline. They won’t make excuses or try to extend deadlines when they know their client is expecting the very best and on time. But in order to get things done in a timely manner, the best freelance translators know how much work they can take on. They won’t try to convince themselves that they can perform a huge workload all at one time as this will compromise the quality and integrity of their work. Great translators will take on the work they know they can, maintain an impeccable organized process and schedule, and meet every deadline with no exceptions.
Good freelance translators never leave their clients hanging. While it is impossible for one person to be available twenty-four hours of the day and seven days a week, a person can set a time when they are committed to being available to speak with clients. They won’t ignore messages or put off questions and feedback when they knows their clients are waiting. While everyone’s idea of a reasonable response time will vary, the best freelance translators know that the sooner they respond to their clients, the better.
Are you looking for a high quality translator for your translation needs? Contact us today to learn about our services for legal, medical, marketing, and other texts that need translating.