6 Qualities Any Translator Should Have

If you are new to the translation business, then you probably found out that you need a lot more than just knowing how to translate a document from one language to another. A lot of rookies think knowing a foreign language is the only quality a translator needs, but they are dead wrong.

In reality, similar to any other job or hobby, you need a lot more if you want to be competitive. So, what are the six qualities that any translator should have? Let’s take a look:

1. You have to be passionate and humble about your work

We know that many of you want to be in this business because it pays well and you get to work in a cozy office. However, you probably won’t be working for a long period if you don’t like this type of job. Why? It is because it requires passion, among other things.

If you do not love your job, there will be a time when a bad situation will make you quit and this rule applies for every job or hobby. Even if you are paid well, you will get sick and tired of translating documents and you’ll be searching even for a low-paid job just to experience something new.

Also, if you are not passionate, you will tend to be aggressive to some of your customers. Try your best to make any client feel important no matter what. So, be respectful. It is in your best interest, especially if you are a freelancer.

2. Always be curious

Translating documents should not be a one-dimensional process. If you are into translating foreign literature, think of it as reading a book and learning something new. You will learn new expressions, new book characters, new stories; it is all a new experience and not many jobs offer that.

3. Clarity

It goes without saying, but clarity is what any translator should aim for. No matter what you are translating, no matter what languages you use, the end product should always be clear to any reader. It is vital, especially when you have to translate technical or medical documents.

It takes a lot of education and practice to master this skill, but once you do it, your job will be easier and paid way better.

4. Use every tool you know

If you do not know an expression, it is recommended to use all sorts of books, manuals, and online search engines. After all, you are just a human, not a walking library.

5. All you need is patience

Translating a document can take hours or even days, especially if it’s a tough one. Be patient and try to make the best translation you can. The same thing applies to money if you are a freelancer. You might start out with a decent income, but the more experience you gain, the better the pay will be.

6. You must be willing to invest in your education

You might be good with a foreign language, but being a translator is a serious business. You should invest your time and money in education, mainly in translation courses. You must enhance your skills if you want to be competitive and have a better-paid job.


These are the top 6 skills and qualities you should have as a translator if you want to be successful and get a better job. Keep in mind that investing in yourself is always the best way to go. If you want to improve your knowledge and check some high-quality translations, we recommend visiting Pick Writers.

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