In our previous post we talked about impartiality. Today we will talked about the ability to do research and explore new environments, which are the skills proper to curious translators. In fact, translators are curious by default, as they are forced to move between two or more languages and thus between different cultures.
Even if a translator ends up specialising in specific areas, he will always come across different types of text, and will have to do some research, as it’s completely impossible to have in-depth knowledge of every topic. Mr Google is the obvious help in this task. However, you should exercise your judgement when searching and not trust everything that you find online. It’s a good idea to remember that there are also people who are good sources of information due to their experience or personal history. For example, a rock musician can help you with a translation about the legendary vinyl records. In the same way, an oenologist can help you when it comes to translating the characteristics of a wine.
Translators must often be open to working in new environments, as well as to being familiar with new technologies. Technophobia – a disorder characteristics of translators born in the pre-Internet age – is not a good option. If you get cold sweats when a customer’s instructions come in an unknown format and associated program, you should change your point of view. You should take a step back from your fear and think that it can’t be so hard to use, and that any program or application have a well-defined function.
To conclude, being a working translator is synonymous with continually leaving your comfort zone – a term used in coaching that means that area where you are not necessarily most at ease, but rather the area you already know and control. Leaving it is necessary and motivating.