THE TRANSLATOR`S KIT
My name is Cecília Santos João and I have been working as a translator and teacher of Portuguese and English as Foreign Languages for over 25 years.
Translating something is always an intense exercise, not only of love for the source and target languages, but also of absolute respect for the author(s).
To be a professional translator is to excel in the art of using linguistic skills to convey accurately the same meaning in a different language and culture, and also to have a well-developed work method. It is the art of recreating contents through an architecture of words that builds bridges and connects people.
The command of both languages implies recreating idiomatic expressions and sentence structures that will get understood by people on the other side of the world, overcoming the language and culture gap.
In practical terms, the only necessary tools in a Translator’s Kit are a good computer, a reliable internet connection and some eye drops, as freedom is a very positive part of this activity. However, the main skills in this Kit are more of an emotional nature. An utmost respect for deadlines, being disciplined, reading and writing a lot, working long hours, working on weekends, comparing and selecting options, being patient, being critical, being fascinated by knowledge and researching, and having an healthy curiosity about everything is absolutely essential.
It is also paramount to have a profound love for knowledge, to be updated, to be fussy about grammar and spelling, and to enjoy working alone and being self-reliable.
Translators are mediators by nature, the pride they take in their work is to remove language barriers, building new bridges and bringing people together with every new assignment, with every deadline met, with every tangible result, and every contribution to other people’s success.
As the brilliant Dorothy Parker said: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”