Sunday, February 27, 2011

What is translation?

According to latest issue of Jost Zetzsche's excellent Tool Kit newsletter, translation is not "something" that multilingual people do, but a profession of highly qualified individuals who themselves can do a lot to make this apparent for anyone who cares to look.

Jost goes on to distil some overarching themes from the recently published book, The Prosperous Translator, into six useful bullet points:
  • Writing skills in the target language are one of the key components to success as a translator.
  • Above-average subject-specific knowledge is another key to success.
  • There is great value in membership and active participation in professional associations.
  • Networking with colleagues and clients is essential.
  • Low prices devalue your proposal and make you less attractive.
  • There is lots and lots of work out there for lots and lots of us, provided that we adhere to the points listed above.

Jost concludes that: the (translation) world would truly be a better place if we followed these suggestions (and if those who can't would choose a different profession!).