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An idealization of the translator by Salvomir Belis, Translator
Translators are language professionals. They are applied linguists, competent writers, diplomats, and educated amateurs. Like linguists, translators have to be capable of discerning subtleties and nuances in their languages, researching terminology and colloquialisms, and handling new developments in their languages. Like writers, translators have to be accustomed to working long hours alone on a subject which is usually specialised and with a language that few people around them know. Like diplomats, translators have to be sensitive to the cultural and social differences which exist in their languages and be capable of addressing these issues when translating. And like educated amateurs, translators have to know the basics and some of the details about the subjects they deal with. The above is an image which professional translators aspire to achieve with varying degrees of success. Not all translators need to overflow with these qualities. They must, however, have them in sufficient measure to be able to translate their material in a manner acceptable to their clients.
A good translator is by definition bilingual. Read more