How to Become a Top-class Translator


Many students who join Mandarin classes Singapore often ask for tips to help them become a top-rated translator. Here are a few tips. Have a look.

1.Know the language you’re translating well

This is obvious, but it can’t be stressed enough. The best way to learn Chinese in Singapore is classroom training.

One thing you must remember is that some people pick up a new language faster and more easily than others. Therefore, don’t get worked up if you find other students in your Chinese class making better progress than you. All it means is that you need to put in the extra effort.

2.Know the target language well

The target language is the one into which you’re translating. Some translators believe having great skills in your target language is more important than in the language you’re translating—and they are right.

Unless you know the target language well, you wouldn’t be able to produce a great translation. You need to have great skills in the target language to be able to communicate ideas clearly and aptly capture the texture, spirit, and feel of a literary text.

In case you don’t speak the target language natively, study, write and read it a lot. Familiarize yourself with its literature as well as how it is used colloquially. In addition, surround yourself with people who know the target language well and will care to guide you in the right direction.

If you speak the target language natively, that’s the best deal. However, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have to work hard. Knowing a language natively is one thing and being able to wield it effectively is another. The latter will only come from conscientious practice. Read as much as you can and write in different kinds of genre.

3.Hone your research skills

When you translate a book, you must know about every single thing that’s in it. The same goes for movies and TV programs. Obviously, one can’t know everything. And that’s why it is important to be able to research anything and research quickly from reliable sources. If you are still in college, take up a subject that requires a lot of researching. The experience of doing intensive research will help you once you become a translator.

4.Invest in networking

To be a great translator, you must be expert in, well, everything. That’s certainly not practical. That’s why you must opt for the second best thing: have experts of various fields on your network. Often what you can learn from a 10-min chat with an expert is many times far greater than the information you’ll gather from an hour of Googling. Of course, spending time in the library would tell you pretty much the same thing, but then it might not be feasible to spend half-a-day researching about one point when the translation job is tomorrow.

5.Acquire in-depth knowledge of the relevant field

This goes without saying. For example, if you are going to translate research paper in Medicine, you must have in-depth knowledge of this field.

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