The qualities of professional translators

17th Nov 2015
Unlike what many may believe, professional translators are more than just bilingual individuals that are able to speak in multiple languages, for translation is a skilled profession and requires many years of hard work, experience and specific characteristics other than the obvious requirement of language skills, the below are qualities that our translation agency looks for in translators:
  • They must love languages!
This is perhaps the only quality on the list that cannot be learned, very simply, professional translators must love working with words. Being talented in languages does not mean as much as having a passion for it; skills and experience can be gained over time, whereas the commitment and motivation to meet a deadline (even if it is at 3 am) cannot be learned.
  • Expertise
We thoroughly believe that if you cannot understand it, you can not translate it. A legal translator needs an excellent knowledge of the law, a medical translator needs to understand medicine. As a translation agency, Waterstone Translation does not accept wild guessing and assumptions in a translator's work as it will one day cause a client significant negative repercussions.
  • Research skills
On top of having a solid knowledge base within their area of expertise, it is vital that they are able to independently research and find out the things which they do not already know as it is not always the case that the client may have further reading materials.
  • Professional ethics & Self-discipline
Professional translators are often translating documents containing confidential information, a professional will have strong work ethics and are able to keep any privileged information between themselves and their client only. As most professional translator’s works on a freelance basis, they must be motivated to find clients and complete work on time as missing deadlines and poor quality work will severely damage their image.