What is translation?
A profession in which the meaning of a text written in one language, the source, is conveyed by crafting a written text in a second language, the target. Professional translators are writers with the language skills and subject-matter expertise to produce an accurate text that reads well in the target language. They generally work into their native language, are often fluent in the source language, and approach the text as subject-matter specialists. They render the source text’s message with the appropriate style, register, syntax, phrasing, spelling, punctuation, and terminology in their target language, creating a bridge between the two languages. Translation is written; interpreting is spoken.
What is a certified translator?
In the U.S. a translator who has earned certification from an accredited institution or organization. Certified translators maintain such qualifications in their language combinations, primarily through continuing education. Certification is a testament to a translator's professional competence at working from a specific language into another. Certification from the American Translators Association comes with the obligation to improve professional skills through continuing education.
What is a financial translator?
A translator who captures the essence of the source text, providing its meaning accurately in the target language in the following areas: accounting, auditing, bankruptcy law, business management, business policy, contract law, corporate finance, corporate law, economics, insurance, international trade, international finance, investment and securities markets, marketing, money and banking, operations management, personnel management, public finance, securities law, statistics, taxation.
Can computers translate?
Not on their own, but they can certainly help. Computer-aided translation (CAT) refers to tools that can help professional translators improve their consistency, accuracy, and productivity. In machine translation (MT), a computer generates a draft translation, routinely using a translation memory (TM) created by human translators. For an accurate, well-written translation, CAT and MT always require a human translator’s discernment and skill to correct and approve the target text.
What should a client expect from a professional translator?
Professional translators should be committed to the highest standards of performance, ethical behavior, and business practices. They should translate the original message faithfully, satisfying the needs of the end user. They should master the target language at a level equivalent to that of an educated native speaker. Professional translators should have up-to-date subject-matter and terminology knowledge in both their languages, access to information, resources, and reference materials, and knowledge of professional tools. Professional translators should continue to improve, broaden, and deepen their skills and knowledge. Professional translators should be truthful about their qualifications, not accepting assignments for which they are not fully qualified. They should safeguard the interests of their clients, never divulging confidential information. They should ask about the target text’s purpose and intended readers and clarify any uncertainties. They should notify clients of any unresolved difficulties encountered. (Adapted from the American Translators Association Code of Ethics and Professional Practice as approved by the Board of Directors, October 2010).
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