Tag: Translators

10 Technical Skills for A Super Translator

10 Technical Skills for A Super Translator

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In a movie we all know, there is the protagonist when connects with technology, he upgrades. Iron man, the Transformers, The Matrix trilogy, for instance, heroes promoted their abilities with gadgets, software, and computer skills. Believe it or not normal human beings turn into superheroes! Yes, here are 10 skills to acquire to be a super translator.

In the new age of translation, an elevated style and diction will be no good if it’s not supported by a fast, advanced and efficient implementation.

  1. Touch typing

Writing is no longer part of the translation process, even the written texts are OCRed now. When typing took over, translators must take it to a farther step, touch typing, which we call touch typing. Touch typing will not only speed up the process of translation, but also will increase the productivity. Touch typing, with better accuracy could be mastered by practice and learning.

 Test your typing speed to see how far you want to improve.

You can improve it by taking this online course by Alsion.

  1. Keyboard command and shortcuts

You can save up to 30 minutes per day only if you knew how to utilize your keyboards better, how to copy, cut and paste, move between tasks and pages, and give some basic commands on Word.

  1. Translation tools
    CAT tools

CAT tools using, such as Trados, as a CAT tool example, and Xbench, as a quality assurance tool example must be acquired. No more of “I don’t work with CAT tools” thing, or “I want to work with the regular methods.” Or “I’m afraid of technology”. Yes we know that you’d like to go with your own unique style of translation, and you want to take your time processing. But actually, in today’s business, things must be done fast and perfectly. CAT tools help you to abide by the instructions of the client, work fast, and produce the closest translations to perfect translation. In addition to this, if you are working with a team, CAT tools will be your right hand to sustain consistency among you all, as working with translation memories and glossaries will increase your efficiency.

  1. Research skills

Unlike the past, now you have an online encyclopedia. But how to reach what you are seeking fast? This is question. A good translator must have their solid database, to include some trusted dictionaries, and good research specialized engines. You also need to be updated with google’s new features and free products.

Here Google is providing a course to power your research skills.

  1. Microsoft Office

Away from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and their tips and tricks that help you work smarter, Microsoft excel and spread sheets are one of the skills you need to know, or how are you going to calculate your payment, or profit if you are a freelancer? Especially in the big projects.

Some basic knowledge about sums and numbers will do.

  1. Handling Computer Emergencies

Of course, IT problems were meant to be handled by the IT specialist. But at least  you need to have the basics to save yourself while you’re in medias res. You also got to be aware of all the features of your computer, and of the tools you are using. 

You also need to have a good idea of the terminology used in the industry, such as: extensions, online project, server, HTML, synchronize…, etc.

  1. Internet and email

“Accessible” is one of the magical merits that a client would like to witness dealing with his translator. That’s why, ways of online communication such as online calls, or chatting, or emailing are there. Consequently, a super translator will be active for any updates, new instructions, or edits the client might need. The client wants to feel saved before asking for help!

 Furthermore, you need to know how to write professional business emails, and how to communicate well if things went wrong or in case of emergencies.

Another thing is that, you need to be aware of the internet, how to reach what you are seeking, how to use it professionally. Simply, you know the where to go and the when to go.

Being online is a must-acquire skill, not to lose your clients and to enhance your knowledge and skills, even if  you don’t like to be online, or you’re techno-phobic.

 Speaking of online presence, we are lead to..

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪ONLINE PRESENCE‬‏

  1. Active online presence

Now, there are many websites and blogs that gather all translators to share and exchange their experiences, and to answer their questions, etc. You also need to be active on professional platforms like LinkedIn, and Proz.

  1. Computer security

I saw this with a friend of mine, while downloading a program, her laptop got infected by Ransom Virus, a virus that locks your access to your files and ask for money. That’s why you’d better be careful and choose trusted sites, powerful antivirus, and keep updating the windows and its firewall to protect you from malware and such. You must know how these things work, and how to secure your work and computer the best way possible. And ALWAYS know how to take a back-up of your files.

  1. Online learning

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪ONLINE LEARNING‬‏

Since the world is going digital and learning is part and parcel of the translator’s personality, you got to learn how to function on the e-learning websites. Online courses are saving of time, and they are taken in a better state of focus and purity to gain the utmost benefit out of the content. A translator is a full-time learner, right?

Moreover, you might want to learn the tools your client’s own tools. That’s why being opened  and adaptive for online learning and flexibility of using different tools are income generating.

To sum up, a translator with technical skills is a better-hire resource because simply they make the clients more comfortable and confident in delivering their business to an understanding, literate and reliable resource. Technology when connect promotes. So, UPGRADE!

How many skills of the 10 do you own? Tell us in the comments below.

Why People Quit Freelance Translation

Why People Quit Freelance Translation

Reading Time: 1 minute

You don’t have to have been in the freelance translation game long before you come across the quitter.

This is the person who gave up on making a career out of freelance translation and is now doing something else.

Maybe they had a breakdown one day, necked a bottle of Jack Daniels, threw their laptop across the room, and set fire to their dictionaries in the garden.

Read more

Top reasons to become a Freelance Translator

Top reasons to become a Freelance Translator

Reading Time: 1 minute

Top reasons to become a Freelance Translator

Why do people become freelance translators? Perhaps it is the flexibility and freedom it offers, or the fact it enables them to do something they love.

There are many reasons people decide to become freelancers. Read this eBook to get a comprehensive view of some of the key reasons.

If you want to learn even more about a career in freelance translating – including advice from other freelancers – visit our webpage.



Reading Time: 1 minute

A professional translator will also check the source document carefully for potential errors, omissions or unclear wording. Translation is all about carrying over meaning from one language to another – so if the meaning is unclear in the original, the translation can hit a roadblock until the issue is resolved. Similarly, it’s not unheard of for a source document to contain mistakes of one sort or another, be they anything from typographical errors to incorrect statements of fact – after all, everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Once again, a good translator will spot these and flag them up for the project manager to relay to the client. As a result, one nice side-effect of this process is that having a document translated into a new language will often also improve the quality of the source-language text! After all, it never hurts to have an extra pair of eyes looking at a piece of work.

Read more about this from here



Reading Time: 1 minute

There exists an assumption that if a translator doesn’t have a paid CAT tool license, he or she cannot be trusted as a professional. Who thinks that? Why, fellow translators.

But can we really judge a professional by their toolkit or by the money they spend on special software licenses?

More importantly, what are the alternative technology solutions available in the localization industry?

Read more



Reading Time: 1 minute

5. Organisational skills: Translation is a very deadline-driven profession. You need to be able to meet deadlines and organise your time effectively. Initiative is important, too.

6. Writing skills: This is extremely important. Translators are professional writers. For this, you need to know your own language perfectly: grammar, vocabulary, style. Reading voraciously helps, and so will writing practice such as blogging, student journalism, creative writing. Even the little things like spelling are important. Spelling is really important for translators; bad spelling can give a really bad impression to clients. For those of you who think you know it all, try the ultimate fiendish Oxford dictionaries spelling test.

7. General knowledge: General knowledge is very important for translators. It can help you pick up mistakes in texts. This translator watches the news every morning because current affairs may come up in her work.

8. Analytical skills: Translators are the best readers that a text will ever have. They need advanced analytical skills to understand how the source text works, so that they can reproduce this in their translation.

9. Research skills: Translators may get very different texts to translate from one day to the next and may have to pick up specialised vocabulary quickly. You learn where to find out about cereal and cylinderheads, fish and foot and mouth disease. You may find yourself ‘phoning a friend’ too! Exemples of specialised glossaries like this one may be found online.

Read more here



Reading Time: 1 minute

In the huge talent pool of the internet, there’s plenty of competition for even the smallest job, and if you can’t show yourself in the best possible light clients will pass you over and find someone else. This is where a top quality portfolio comes in, allowing busy potential employers to see at a glance if you’ve got the skills they’re looking for. It’s no good offering free sample translations alone. If they’ve already spotted that your competitor Fantastic Fred has a couple of shining marketing translations in his online portfolio they won’t even bother getting in contact with you, and you will have lost a client without even knowing they exist.

Learn more



Reading Time: 1 minute

If you don’t speak Arabic, it can be a challenge to determine the proficiency of an Arabic translator. Rather than searching for flaws in their Arabic or English, keep a mental checklist of the above qualities. If a translator values attention to detail, is knowledgeable about the culture of the region, and is willing to make themselves available at odd hours for an affordable fee, they are indeed a superb Arabic translator.

Read more here

Where Freelance Translators Can Find New Clients: Three Proven Strategies

Where Freelance Translators Can Find New Clients: Three Proven Strategies

Reading Time: 1 minute

Finding new clients for any business is not an easy task, but it is not an impossible mission. Without clients, no one can have a real business. And without more clients, any business will fail to survive the unexpected changes of any market.

 But where can you find them? In this article, I am going to list some strategies you can use to find new clients.

Know more from here

Are you a Translator, or just a Speaker?

Are you a Translator, or just a Speaker?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“I speak two languages, one is my mother tongue and the other worked on it through movies, songs, and some grammar books. I want to work as a translator, what can I do”, he asked.

That is a typical question of an amateur translator. Why? Because a translator is way far beyond just speaking two languages. Translation is not speaking two languages; it’s about mastering two languages. And here five skills a professional translator needs to master.


Just passed by a story published that goes like:

My first year in Campeche, Mexico, I was always complaining about the heat. The correct way to say this in Spanish is “Odio el calor.” I, however, kept making the verb reflexive: “Me odio.” This means “I hate myself.” Everyone must have thought I had a real self-esteem problem!
Having contemplated this situation, we will find that this person wasn’t really aware of the cultural context. It’s not necessary for something in your culture to mean the same in other cultures. That’s why you have to read more in this language history, culture, and contexts.


“To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

Observation is one of the most aiding skills as it, by time, facilitates the translator’s work and gives his work quality.  Observing the speakers of the languages your translating from and to gives you mastery over your translation and phrasing. Observation helps granting nativity.


Having many levels in speech and communication depending on the addressee and the addresser makes it necessary to vary your style of writing. You can’t buy your groceries speaking Shakespearean language. Pragmatically, everyone will laugh at you thinking that you are saying a joke.

That would even, wrongly, signify the background of the speaker. Is he coming from the medieval ages through time machine? What if he is illiterate? What if he has come from a Proletarian descendants? Would he say the same idioms and proverbs as a sophisticated educated professor?
Each and every character will communicate the way that tells about him. That is, they will definitely use different structures, different vocabulary, and different use of words. Consequently, you will have to tailor your translation with the same meaning that transfers the message of the speech with its reflection to the character.


Lately, Oxford Dictionary has changed the word “light” to “lite”, and added the word “roasting” to mean “Online bullying”. It also has labeled the word “fool” as an archaic words.

Language is a living organism, as it always evolves, develops, dies, and gets reborn. And so, the translators must evolve with it; otherwise, they simply will retreat unconsciously because he couldn’t cope with the trends, and the changes in the language.

The world is going digital, you will also need to learn the new technology of translation, such as: CAT tools, machine translation and other helping aids. You need to cope with the fast evolving market. And don’t worry, we will address that in the coming post, stat tuned!

Time Management

If Procrastination was the flaw of Hamlet in the old age, then it has never died if it’s the translator’s. Burning time within your work-time will burn you out. One of the most needed skills that translator should master is time management; and Organization is its key.

While you have many tasks to do, prioritize them over one another: the most urgent to the least important. Start with what motivates you to keep achieving. Eliminate distractions, like social media notifications that keep getting you out of the mood of creating. Don’t forget to give yourself a five-minute break every hour. That would help you to keep your mind focused and refreshed.


Know one thing about everything, and know everything about one thing. That where POWER relies.
Having a field that you expert in is what makes you reliable as a “subject matter expert”, where you points of strength appear.

How many skills of these do you master? Share them with us in the comments. And if you have any special skills, don’t forget that “sharing is caring”.