Ken SubediKen Subedi Qualities of a Professional TranslatorFebruary 21, 2020

Qualities of a Professional Translator

The translation industry is a long-standing field but with globalization and localization being at its peak in 2020 , the translation industry is flourishing. With such an expansion of the industry, inevitably came the overcrowding of the trade. In order to stand out from such a dense crowd, one needs to show professionalism and showcase how they are ‘great’ at their craft. Although there are no ways to exactly define ‘great’ translators, there are some qualities that many professional translators share. Such qualities allow a translator to master their craft and differentiate themselves from others. For more information on what exactly these qualities of a professional translator are, then keep on reading forth.

Professional Translator
Professional Qualities of a Professional Translator


Language qualifications are not always necessary, as a good translator doesn’t need to finish a degree in that specific language to have great language abilities. However, as a rule of thumb, professional translators usually have some sort of language qualifications. Having a qualification for the language allows the client to see your level of language, and usually tends to make translators more reliable in the eyes of the client. This doesn’t have to be a Bachelor’s degree but there are numerous types of language tests and qualifications one can do to showcase their abilities to the client.

Advanced Writing Skills

Writing skills might not be something that will come to your mind when thinking of professional translators as translators need to translate rather than produce a self-written work. However, a great translator not only translates the work but also is able to put the work in eloquent words to provide an optimal result. As a professional, you will need to experiment with words, sentence structures and change the meaning of focal points of sentences or paragraphs according to the client’s request.

Rich Vocabulary

This goes hand in hand with your writing skills. As a professional translator, you will have to express your translated work in various ways without overusing the same vocabulary constantly. Moreover, you will have to deal with clients in different social settings, hence, you will need to be familiar with different lexicons of diverse fields. This will come especially handy when dealing with jargon and technical terms in specific industries; more specifically in business, law, and engineering.    

Passion For The Language

Working with languages is a continuous learning curve, and one has to constantly try to improve their language abilities. Especially with ever-changing and developing terms creeping up in professional and non-professional usage of languages. Such rigor and dedication can only happen if you are passionate about the language you’re working with. As a professional translator, you should always strive to learn more or try to expand your knowledge of the language.


Self-discipline can make or break the professionalism of a great translator. One needs to have the ability to understand when to work, how to work and be responsible enough to meet the client’s requirements and deadlines. As most of the times, translators work either in freelance or on a client to client basis. Due to this, it can be tempting to procrastinate or to produce mediocre work. However, having the ability to self-discipline will not only get you acclaim from your clients but also help you stand out as a professional translator. Becoming a professional translator takes a lot of work and cannot be boiled down to just a list of qualities. However, understanding what qualities a lot of such great translators share, is already a leap in your own career. Seeing where you, as a translator need to improve or what to work on will set you on the right path to becoming a professional translator.

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Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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