The specialist translator: what are the benefits for the client?

6 Jul 2016 | Translation Industry

How does one become a specialist translator and in what way are these specialisations veritable value additions?

In today’s world, business from all sectors may someday need to call on the services of professional translators. In light of this, a translator could, over the course of his/her career, translate documents related to extremely varied domains: legal, medical, environmental, marketing, social, cultural, etc. Although there are huge benefits in being a “generalist” translator, he/she is still human. At the end of the day, he/she cannot accumulate sufficient knowledge to claim that he/she can provide documents of identical quality in every single domain. This is why he/she should, on the contrary, choose one path and specialise.

Specialisation takes time

A translator cannot become a specialist overnight. Often, it is his/her experience in translating, personal interests or even the increasing needs of a regular client, for example after its company undergoes development, which may lead to him/her focusing on one sector in particular. A novice translator is therefore considered to be a generalist until he/she decides to specialise in one, two or three sectors in particular. Moreover, there are some people who decide to foray into the business of translation after having worked in a specialised sector (medical, automobile, technical, etc.). This professional experience is an undeniable and major benefit to the translator’s work and to his/her expertise in a specific domain.

An expert translator in your sector

If your translator is able to understand your business, your sector of activity and its different facets, it’s a fair bet that you are working with a specialist translator. How did he/she do it? In addition to in-depth research while translating, he/she must have certainly gained more knowledge by visiting various trade shows to collect documentation (bilingual, if possible) and by meeting professionals working in that sector. Then, he/she would likely have subscribed to your preferred trade publication and identified all unknown terms and concepts. Finally, over time, he/she would have meticulously compiled bilingual glossaries containing specific terminology. In such cases, when you begin your translation project, don’t be too surprised if your translator asks you questions about any terminology-related or stylistic preferences that you may have. Your answers will be noted and suitable terms will be used, which can be appropriately reused for future translations.

An added value to your documents

Specialising in a domain helps a translator earn the trust of his/her clients: it’s reassuring to know for certain that he/she knows what he/she is speaking about and that your documents will be coherent and consistent from start to finish. Irrespective of your domain, the style will be appropriate, as your translator has already worked on more or less similar documents, understands the jargon and certain expressions, and will use suitable turns of phrase. As a result, your readers will not even realise that the text is a translated document, as it will flow in manner that only a native speaker could achieve. Specialisation therefore guarantees a service of impeccable quality.

Everyone saves time

Specialising also allows a translator to be more productive. Effectively, research will take him/her less time as compared to other translators, as he/she will end up knowing his/her terminological glossary without having to constantly check and cross-check terms. This will help him/her handle your orders much faster. This speed will also help you meet your own deadlines. In addition, this specialisation can help you save time in the internal review stage, if there is any. Instead, this time could be used for modifying only those rare terms that are highly specific to your internal use.
Working with a professional and specialist translator implies that you place trust in him/her without needing to check his/her work. If you know that your translation service provider specialises in your domain, you can then dedicate your time to your own projects with complete peace of mind. Contact our translation agency and you will definitely find this peace of mind. We will take care of everything!