Eighty-five percent of your training in becoming a professional language translator requires reading. According to a local expert providing Spanish translation in Houston, “If you intend to be successful in your job as a translator, you will still to do a significant amount of reading at the office and in your own home to stay current of your work and your occupation.” The type of reading that a translator will do consists of emails, letters, studies, estimates, manuals, memorandums, records, market studies, industry publications, corporate publications, specialized journals, newspapers, periodicals, and literature relevant to the translation field.
Reading well-written essays, literature, and magazine articles can aid a translator in improving their writing as well as their reading skills by giving them an improved comprehension of a language’s cadences and styles. Research from one Washington D.C. Russian translation agency shows that translators who read a lot tend to be considerably better composers since they acquire an eye and ear for the intricacies of the languages they work in.
Strengthening Your Reading Skills
Apart from frequent reading, a professional translation worker needs to master a variety of reading techniques. As a language translator, you will receive correspondence, e-mail messages, contracts, assessments, flyers, and other promotional pieces on a regular basis. As a result, you need to figure out how to pick reading techniques on the basis of the material’s content and your purpose for reading it.
Translation workers must also discover how to differentiate pertinent from irrelevant details. For instance, say you are asked to summarize a quarterly production report that was written in a foreign language. Many translators would skim it for significant details, and then review it much more critically to identify if the author’s assumptions about decreasing output are accurate. Critical analysis is important here when you need to evaluate cause-effect associations. Another document that you might be asked to evalute could be an e-mail message regarding the business’s cafeteria. Even if you have never been in the cafeteria, you gloss over the e-mail message rapidly, uncover its most important details. Therefore, developing reading skills essentially involves establishing diverse reading strategies depending on what the client wants you to do with the information. These kinds of strategies result in the valuable use of your reading time.
To develop your reading skills, start with your textbooks. Pay particular attention to tables of contents, headings, and subheads, as these provide important guides to content. Rather than underlining profusely, a process which slows your reading considerably, find the main ideas. Underline them. Practice scanning for important ideas, facts, and figures. Skim through publications in your field to see how quickly you can find the central issues.