There’s a first time for everything, and that is a worldwide fact. Every accomplished translator started out as a newbie, every translation student had a first ever translation assignment, and every job in the world becomes better with experience.
Sure, experience in translation obviously comes from having more to translate, but there are other factors that contribute to a better translation, and those factors go hand in hand with experience and help enrich it further.
One of the things you could do to better your foreign language proficiency skills is to read books, newspapers and magazines written in said language. As a result to having great foreign language skills, your translation will be of a higher quality. If you’re a word nerd, consider reading the dictionary of your choice!
Nothing makes you understand a given country’s language better than actually visiting that country. General culture plays a vital role in producing an accurate translation.
As weird as it may seem, being exposed to other cultures’ food actually helps get a better understanding of different cultures. Personally, I am intrigued by unusual flavors and exotic ingredients; trying different cuisines has definitely helped me in projects where I had to translate menus, recipes and cookbooks.
It is inevitable. TV shows and movies are of extreme importance. They are a fun and amusing way to have a more rich general culture. When I watch foreign shows and movies, I tend to not look at the subtitles and just try to listen carefully. Every time I hear an unfamiliar word, I take a glance at the subtitle. I can’t tell you how many words I’ve actually learned that way! Moreover, staying up to date with the world’s recent news is crucial. Make sure you watch the news every night.
Learning foreign songs’ lyrics is more important than you may think. One should tend to make every experience in life educational. It just gets better when you’re having fun doing so.
Isn’t it obvious? The internet is the next best thing after traveling. As a matter of fact, you can go around the world in one hour if you have internet access, and let’s be frank: very few people around the world still don’t have internet access to date.
Did any other factors help you become a better translator? We’d love for you to share them with us!