A Guide On Resume Skills For A Translator (With Examples)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Translators change text from one language to another with the purpose of communicating a specific message. These professionals are highly skilled in understanding what the author intends to communicate to their audience. Learning about the skills of a translator can help you understand them better and excel in your career. In this article, we learn what resume skills for a translator are, review some examples of these skills, explore some ways to improve them and discover a few steps to highlight them on your resume and during an interview.

Related: What Does A Translator Do? A Complete Guide To Duties

What Are Resume Skills For A Translator?

Resume skills for a translator are strengths and abilities that help you convert words from one language to another accurately. With the help of their skills, translators perform inter-lingual communication by translating text that is identical to the original text. In this process, they focus on maintaining the communicative value of the original or source text. Translators employ many skills to achieve maximum parallelism between the source text and the translated text.

Translators essentially work with written communication, like books, essays, legal text, medical documents, websites and instructional manuals. These professionals possess strong written and attention to detail skills to follow the style of the source text. They are adept at solving complex communication problems, for instance, how they transpose text from one language to another because word-for-word translation may not communicate the message coherently. When you mention these skills in your resume, you may increase your chances of impressing hiring managers and getting hired.

Related: Top Communication Skills For A Resume (With Examples)

Examples Of Resume Skills For A Translator

Here is a list of some examples of a translator's skills that employers usually seek in a candidate before offering them a role in their organisation:

Proficiency in languages

When a translator is proficient in different languages, it means they understand the nuances of those languages. This helps them fluently speak and write in those languages, which can be beneficial to cater to a larger audience. This proficiency enables them to interpret the meaning of words, understand clues in the context and analyse sentences using rules of grammar effectively. Translators also possess excellent vocabulary skills.

Knowledge about cultures

Culture can influence the language of a community or an area significantly. Phonetics in one culture may represent a greeting, but in another, they may mean differently, which can cause confusion. Knowing these variations helps translators to translate the message correctly. Idioms, references or colloquial terms, for instance, may have varied meanings depending on how people of different communities use them.

Writing skills

Translators usually communicate in writing. To efficiently do that, their writing skills focus on varied elements. With grammar, they know the rules of languages that help them translate languages accurately. Punctuation allows them to enhance the meaning of sentences and convey it as clearly as possible. By using varied styles, a translator gets better at using different tones, like descriptive, persuasive, narrative or argumentative, as suitable for the text and audience.

Computer-assisted translation software skills

Translators use different computer-assisted translation (CAT) software tools to refine their translation. These tools allow a translator to search text, check the quality of translation and analyse the process of translation. Here is a list of such tools:

  • Language search engine software: This tool finds previously translated text. Its functionality focuses on searching for translated text that matches the text in the source document.

  • Terminology management software: This tool allows a translator to store terminology in a database. This helps the professionals to access different terms when they are translating text or verbal communications.

  • Translation memory software: This tool allows the automation of translation processes. With it, a translator stores matching segments of text and a translation for such segments in translation units.

  • Interactive machine translation software: This tool is another automation program to ease the process of translation. With this software, translators can predict the meaning of the text in one language and translate it into another as required.

  • Text alignment software: Translators match the same text in two languages with such programs. The software then stores the translation, which it can use later to help translate texts in similar languages smartly in the future.

Active listening skills

A translator's proficiency in active listening allows them to analyse what the speaker is saying clearly and effectively. Translators may also employ these skills to translate verbal communications taking place between two speakers, if required. These skills make communication effective, as instructions, ideas or concepts become clearer when translators understand the information and respond thoughtfully.

Reading comprehension skills

When a translator possesses strong reading comprehension skills in different languages, they can better augment the meaning of words or sentences. These skills include not just reading text but fully comprehending it. Efficient reading comprehension allows translators to understand the text effectively so that they translate it accurately, resulting in logical and clear communication of the meaning.

Computer skills

Translators are adept at using computing devices, like a desktop, a laptop or a tablet, to perform their daily job duties. They use these devices to increase their productivity and maintain precision in their work. Translators use word processing software tools to document their translation. These tools also have in-built translators to translate text. Once the tool the translates text automatically, which manually is a time-consuming process, translators edit the document to give it error-free and immaculate.

Creativity skills

There are many challenging aspects of translation, like comprehending idioms or dialects in different cultures. When a translator is creative, they may avoid literal translations that may not convey the exact meaning. For instance, an Indian speaker explains a situation using a popular idiomatic saying in their culture, but to explain that to an Egyptian listener, a good translator finds an Egyptian saying that means the same or translates the original saying in a way that is similar and achieves the purpose successfully.

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How To Improve Your Translation Skills

Following are some ways to improve your translation skills:

1. Check grammar and style

Giving close attention to details allows you to translate text clearly and effectively. Good grammar ensures that the text sounds professional and accurate. You may proofread your work several times or use grammar and style-checking software to ensure that your work is free of errors.

2. Utilise foreign multimedia and literature

Watching television shows and movies in foreign languages and reading their subtitles can help you learn a second language better. Consider reading books published in non-native languages, as this too improves your translation skills. These exercises are also a good way to gain cultural knowledge.

3. Pursue online courses

Online translation courses help you realise the importance of translation in different industries. These courses help you improve your translation skills and offer a certification, which can validate your proficiency in translation. There are many courses you may pursue to improve your CAT software skills.

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Translation Skills In The Workplace

In your workplace, you may use translation skills to:

  • Reach: Translators can take part in globalisation by reaching non-native language markets. When working for an enterprise, they may use their communication skills to secure new opportunities and help increase customer base and business revenue.

  • Decode: Translators may work with political and legal entities to translate policies or documents. They may use their translation skills to simplify technical information for common people to understand it better.

  • Democratise: Translating information from a foreign language to regional languages makes it available to more people. This makes resources more accessible, resulting in the democratisation of information.

  • Communicate: Translators help people from different regions to understand each other and learn more about their cultural affairs. Translation can help foster positive relations between people and regions together and facilitate their expression and unification.

Related: Professional Resume Samples To Help You Land A Job

Ways To Highlight Translation Skills

Here are some ways to help you highlight translation skills on your resume, in your cover letter and during a job interview:

Translator skills for a resume and cover letter

Determine your relevant skills, like language, computer and time management, to highlight them on your resume and in your cover letter. List some languages you are proficient in, along with the languages that you are learning to better impress hiring managers. By using specific examples, mention your proficiency level in each language. You can also mention the CAT software tools you use regularly.

In your cover letter, you may explain what your specialisation areas are, along with any specific or relevant professional information you may deem important to convey to the hiring managers to better validate your suitability for the role.

Translator skills for a job interview

During a job interview, you may discuss your skills as you as and when required with the hiring manager. Give examples of the languages you know and the lessons you have learnt while working as a translator in previous roles. These examples may range from written translations to the translation projects that helped you strengthen your cultural knowledge. Actively listen to the hiring manager to answer questions, as this helps them to recognise your communication abilities and attention to detail skills. Try to include quantifiable information to demonstrate your efficiency of a relevant skill you want to highlight specifically.

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