translation skills

Step Up From the Crowd by Improving Your Translation Skills

(Last Updated On: January 15, 2019)

Every business needs a good translator. This job makes a good choice for anyone who has some translation potentials. You just need to be aware of several things if you decide to become a full-time or a part-time translator. The most important one is to improve your translation skills and knowledge.

How to Improve Translation Skills

Four major translation skills are necessary for a translator to master before he/she begins working for an USA translation agency: reading, researching, and analytical and composing skills.


When you just read a text, this is some sort of translation. When you start translating, you do not divide your work into several phases. After you complete your first translation, numerous automatic gears will start to flow naturally and you will finish it more quickly, becoming less conscious of the action.

There are primary reading skills that any translator has to obtain:

Find the essence and the main topic:

  • Pay attention to details;
  • Learn the meaning of new words and phrases using components of analysis of structure: prefixes, suffixes, punctuation, word order, and so on;
  • Spot the meaning of new words and phrases from the context;
  • Pay attention to the style of writing: technical, scientific, informative, etc.
reading skills
research skills


If you fail to understand the word, it is easier to look for it in the dictionary. Every good translator must know that there are many kinds of dictionaries: current English dictionary, dictionary of idioms, phrasal verbs dictionary, slang dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, mechanical dictionaries, monolingual dictionaries, and many more.

Today, finding the meaning of a word is much easier and faster with the use of software translation programs and tools online. Translation tools have become a necessary asset because they save time and increase the quality of work so mastering such tools should be on the translation skills list.


Two main stages appear in the translation process: analysis and synthesis. In the analysis stage, the translator analyzes the original text in order to gain the meaning as much as possible. In the synthesis stage, the translator conveys the meaning into another language, appropriate for the readers, and this text is now transformed (metatext). There are several ideas necessary in the stage of analysis:

  • Identify the ideas in the text and find their mutual relationship;
  • Think of the right meaning that can fit into the context;
  • Find the appropriate formation in the end language that reflects the original;
  • Find the best connections between ideas in the target language that will reflect the original at the same time.


This is the final stage when you collect all your results and put them into writing. It is important that the writing is coherent and makes sense, so make sure you follow these rules:

  • Be careful to use the appropriate word order and grammar as it is in the target language;
  • Transfer the meaning from one language to another without losing the sense;
  • Transform some phrases in order to provide complete meaning;
  • Make the whole text sound natural without losing the original meaning;
  • Do not forget to use English translation tools for the best results.

What else to keep in mind

Before you become the best translator with a lot of expertise, there are some things translators must be good at and must be willing to do at all times; these things also help them improve their translation skills and gain expertise in a certain language, the ways it is spoken and the way it is read.

Like a writer, the translator also needs to read more and more in order to be fluent in that language, read and observe, focus on details, think them through and extract out the possible meanings of a word in order to master that language. Every language follows the same pattern of formal and informal, but the way of doing so is different than one another. In order to master the translating skills, people need to learn those ways, so they are able to translate all kinds of documents, such as medical, technical, legal and to translate immigration documents.

These translation skills are necessary to help you become a good translator. These basic ideas are for beginners, but they also apply to professional translators.

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