Must a translator be specialized in your field of activity?
Good translators are meticulous. Although they may not be specialized in a certain field, they have access to the best resources, as well as the most impeccable and most complete reference materials.
We each have a knowledge base drawn from our specific culture, studies, interests, and life and work experiences. Translators are no different. Although they cannot become experts overnight, they have extensive background knowledge and access to resources. And they are brilliant researchers who surround themselves with a network of specialists they can consult when needed.
Knowledge base and research skills
Professional translators have the ability to adapt to a broad range of content and approaches, and have reliable resources at their fingertips. They have solid research skills and know where to find both useful information and the right terms for the context. They have the ability to determine the exact meaning of specific terms and thus to produce an accurate and a naturally flowing translation of your texts. Although they may not be medical researchers or aerospace engineers, they need only to confirm their interpretation with trustworthy reference material and/or a specialist. Translators are above all unassuming people with general backgrounds who are very curious and eager to learn. They are adept at detecting the subtleties of language so they do not just translate the words, but ensure that the fundamental meaning of your message is reflected in the other language.
Translators take the time to fully comprehend complicated passages, highly technical points, and even any key touches of humour in a text. Their linguistic skills, thirst for research, and expansive general knowledge enable them to naturally enhance your content, leaving no trace of the translation process.
In the day-to-day practice of their profession, translators continue to perfect their skills and accumulate knowledge. By the very nature of their work, they enrich their own vocabulary and master new concepts with each text that crosses their desktops. In addition, the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec (OTTIAQ) has an (optional) ongoing training policy that allows its members to perfect the various facets of their work each year.
Your role in the development of the translator’s knowledge base
Clients have an equally important role to play in the development of the translator’s knowledge base. The more you entrust them with clear and well-defined projects, the smoother the translation process. It is best to submit the definitive version of your text, and that it be well-written, without vague phrasing. Provide any information that may contribute to the production of great work (the addressee(s) or the target audience, the context, new terminology, etc.). Your business may already have a glossary created by specialists, documentation on the same subject, or similar publications that could help the translator. It would also be beneficial to you to put the translator in contact with a resource person from your team who could respond to any questions that may arise.
The Stevenson & Writers team is composed of professional translators who possess an impressive knowledge base and skill set, curiosity and unpretentiousness, a passion for research, and the diligence to leave nothing to chance. An indispensable resource to respond to your need for impeccable translations.