24 October, 2009


For translators to best achieve their task, they ought to have some particular qualities:

1. Rich Vocabulary Background

Rich vocabulary background is of extreme importance. The more you are affluent in vocabulary, the easier you understand texts, and the less you make use of the dictionary. Besides, you will not waste time thinking or seeking what word to use while translating, but will easily and quickly find the appropriate words.

It is advantageous for translators to acquire technical terms in a wide range of fields: Business, Administration, Law, Media, Politics, Computer Science, Bible, Sciences of Nature (Medicine, Botany, Zoology, Geography, Anatomy, etc.), farming, engineering, and many more.

A good translator must burn with curiosity, which should entice them to keep on learning new words.

2. Good at keeping Ideas Intact

The translator's main focus is to conserve the idea of the source text as intact as possible, and express it the simplest and clearest possible.

3. Clarity
A good translator ought to make sure the product of translation expresses the idea of the source text without ambiguity, but clearly. A translator who has really grasped the author's mind can even express the idea more clearly than it was in the source text. So translator should work in such a way that readers do not happen to read a sentence twice or more for them to understand. Rather, the meaning of the translated material must be easily and quickly understood at first reading.

4. Concision
Concision is another important quality of a good translator. Of course, concision does not imply omitting some ideas - which is a big translation error! Rather, concision must bring translator to avoid encumbering the translated text with unnecessary words. A good translator will avoid using too complicated structures where he or she can use simple and clear ones. This is because concision is meant to make comprehension easy.

5. Sense of Simplicity
Language is designed for communication. In the scope of this view, translators must regard communication as the priority. Therefore, too cumbersome structures, unnecessary words and uncommon terms should be avoided. Instead, it is advisable make use of simple - of course not poor - expressions to convey the ideas of the original text.

6. Subtlety
Subtle translators are good at dodging language difficulties. Subtlety involves wisdom and intelligence. The next chapter will describe the commonest translation techniques which help you carry out translation with the sharpest subtlety you can.

7. Eloquence
Translator should also cultivate eloquence - a capability that enables them to find the best expression which present ideas with liveliness and authenticity in the target language. Besides, translator should endeavor to process the document so that the reader cannot feel at all that the text handy is a product of translation. This should be a motto for every translator.
Good Translation! By Michael I. Shukrani (2008 Edition).Edited and printed by:PowerBooks Production Cape Town, South Africa.