Translation is not just an ability to understand and speak two languages; it is a solid foundation at native or native-like levels in the two languages involved. This foundation includes such elements as a wide range of vocabulary, knowledge of grammatical structures, awareness of idiomatic language, an ability to choose the right word or phrase when multiple meanings are involved, an awareness of dialect differences, and possessing exceptional writing skills.
The expertise that a professional Translator must meet is not only standard usage in both languages, but also in regard to colloquial language, idiomatic usage, and awareness of dialect varieties. A Translator must sustain a high degree of accuracy in his or her spelling skills (including accent and diacritical marks in English and Foreign Language), knowledge of sentence and phrase structure, and place appropriate punctuation.
Maintaining careful attention to detail, unquestionable professionalism, and expertise are also required from a Translator. This is why it is so important to have properly trained, professional Translators representing your organization.
A Translator Is Not the Same as an Interpreter
It is crucial to note that a Translator is not the same as an Interpreter. Interpreters provide oral translations, often simultaneous or consecutive to the moment of speech. The preparation of the Translator does not include this skill, since it is not an essential part of his/her work.
Training and Certificates which may be appropriate for Court Interpreters and Simultaneous Interpreters have no applicability for a Translator, given the actual nature of their basic tasks. It is also important to note that an examination which tests highly literary language is totally inappropriate when one realizes that the tasks of a Translator require entirely different kinds of linguistic knowledge and skills.