5 important tools for sworn translators

Learn about the main tools used by sworn translators to ensure perfect translations.

The text translation art is one of the most ancient tasks in human history. Understanding the other people’s language became necessary when groups from different parts of the planet started to interact.

In the beginning, translating a text was a huge challenge: few people mastered more than one language and, many times, in case of uncertainty, the original text was freely interpreted and a new version was created that not necessarily corresponded to the original idea of the author.

In a globalized world, communication between people who speak different languages is increasingly necessary and there is no space for wrong interpretations. When translating a document, one needs to have straightforward communication. This attention to accuracy is assigned to sworn translators, professionals who take a public examination and are qualified to make translations that are valid under any circumstances in Brazil.

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Fidelity team gathers a large number of employees with the necessary skills. However, the team uses important tools to help them. We have listed five indispensible tools that every sworn translator should use to ensure perfect translation jobs. Do you frequently use these tools?

1 – Dictionary

This is the most important tool of all. No matter how well you can speak another language, you will need the help of a dictionary to check the best translation alternative to a certain word. Sometimes we even need the help of a dictionary to check things in our own language, let alone in a foreign language.

Even sworn translators are unsure sometimes. For this reason, make sure you have access to the best dictionaries for the language you are working with. Pocket dictionaries are useful, but reference dictionaries, which are quite complete, are a must-have item in your bookshelf.

2 – Technical dictionaries

Several language schools also teach the so called “instrumental language”. These are courses targeting a specific field and, for this reason, address technical terms and jargon, which are little used by the general population. Sworn translators will usually find words that are new to them.

In this case, they can use technical dictionaries which are available for virtually every field. A good translator should be familiarized with different topics – from medical documents, for example, to contracts with engineering or financial terms. However, it is important that translators become experts in a specific field. By mastering relevant jargons, they will be more knowledgeable about the field they are working with. People not involved in a certain area will not know related technical words and, therefore, knowing where to find the translation of certain technical terms is crucial.

3 – Grammar books

Knowing the meaning the each word in a text is fundamental, but understanding potential contexts and expressions in one language is equally important. Sworn translators must act as language scholars, being familiarized with grammar rules and being able to recognize sentence nuances that could go unnoticed by less careful readers.

Having sound grammar knowledge is quite useful in translation, ensuring no ideas or connotations from the original text are lost. In some cases, literal translations make little sense to a certain audience, so it is important to understand the author’s intention behind the original text.

4 – Google Images

It might sound inappropriate to list Google Images as an indispensible translation tool, but in fact, it is. When sworn translators are working on their texts, they can come across words they do not know the meaning. A dictionary may solve part of the problem, but many words can have more than one meaning.

Google Images can help translators understand the context of a word. This world’s best search engine feature, when used correctly, shows images related to the content researched. If you search for the word “dot”, for example, you will have more than ten possible answers. And you can find the correct answer only based on the context and Google Images can help you with that.

5 – CAT tools

Finally, CAT tools are also quite important. CAT means Computer Aided Translation and includes specific software solutions that assist in the translation process. Differently from what many might think, these tools are not the same as Google Translator, which automatically translates the sentences you enter.

The idea is that these software solutions provide more accurate automatic translations, based on sentences that have been previously translated, reducing typing efforts, facilitating access to glossaries and creating translation databases. Terms frequently translated are “recognized” by the software as the most updated terms and, therefore, are suggested during the translation of a new text in the same area.

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