This guest blog post by Jenie Gabriel was originally posted on Gengo.com‘s Community blog.
Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit” and successful people have proven that maintaining good habits is one of the essential steps to achieving one’s goals, whether big or small. As the translation and language service industry continues to boom in the global market, now’s the best time for translators to step up their game.
We’ve collated the good habits shared by our Wordsmiths to empower and inspire our growing translator community:
No matter the type of job, high quality should always be the priority. Effective translators read and learn the style guide and keep the customer’s instructions and preferences in mind. They check the translation for accuracy and consistency, which means terminology should be standard throughout the text. The target text should match the source text and nothing is omitted. They also suggest the best option for conveying the message clearly and concisely, instead of giving a literal translation.
Related to maintaining high quality, proofreading and reviewing are important parts of the translation process. Good translators double-check the source text against the target text, and they are also meticulous writers, who review the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax thoroughly. They also ensure the translation reads well and sounds natural, and take time to improve the tone and style of writing if needed.
Good translators are like entrepreneurs, who think in the long term and value their customer’s needs and goals. They know that their dedication to customers will increase their chances of becoming a preferred translator and this means having access to more jobs. Whether working for individual customers or well-known brands, successful translators always strive to build their reputation, grow their network and go the extra mile.
At Gengo, Language Specialists are responsible for maintaining high standards and they provide feedback based on errors and give tips on how to improve future translations. Effective translators are accountable for their work and they learn from constructive feedback, but they try not to take these comments personally. If they completely disagree with the errors marked, they ask Senior Translators to re-review their work with the aim of doing better in the future.
For translation professionals, it’s ideal to have a niche and focus on an area of specialization to gain expertise and establish credibility. However, good translators should also be open to stepping out of their comfort zones from time to time. They believe that doing research about a variety of topics and fields can improve their stock knowledge and help them build a diversified translation portfolio.
Working from home requires discipline and consistency so many freelance translators set aside enough time to do translations when they’re well-rested, more focused, and mentally alert. No matter the skill level, every translator should showcase professionalism by being punctual and striving to complete jobs ahead of time.
Good translators strive to maintain excellent language proficiency by maximizing exposure to their first and second languages. They also stay updated with current news and trends to help them contextualize and localize translations better. Effective translators also keep honing their writing skills and make the most of the right translation tools and resources to improve the quality of their work.
Jenie Gabriel works as a remote content creator and manager for Gengo.com’s Community blog. A seasoned copywriter and travel enthusiast originally from Manila, she has lived in Singapore, Tokyo, and Amsterdam. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Instagram.