Written translators- in contrast to the conference - have to deal with the text. Those who achieve natural ability to freely speak in a foreign language, translate it into a language that they know best (usually their mother tongue, though not always). But what exactly does written translator?
Conveying the meaning
The question that must be answered by all translators, is: "How to convey the essence of expression?" A good translation should evoke the same feelings as the original.
If the original evokes a smile on reader's face and arouses curiosity, the translated text must does the same. This means that the knowledge of a foreign language, that has a translator, must go beyond the understanding of individual words, grammar and structure. It must fully convey the original intentions of the author. A good translator is characterized by a sense of context, style and the ability to convey the nuances of the meaning.
To translate the text on e.g. engineering or medicine we must have expert knowledge. Another skill is the translation of poetry and puns - it requires knowledge of a foreign culture and stylistic of a foreign language.
Adaptation of the text to a new context
Each language is deeply rooted in a different cultural, social and geographical environment. Therefore, translators sometimes have to invent new words to describe things or concepts having no equivalent in their own language. In the case of texts which are very specific to a particular culture, you have to adapt it so that they are accessible to people from another culture or geographical area. Translation of this type is referred to as the location.
Language is variable
Individual words and phrases in the language quickly succumb to change. New ideas and inventions, new ways of using existing terminology are forcing translators to create new ways of expressing these concepts into a language that translate. It is one of the most difficult, yet fascinating aspects of translation.
Checking the meaning of a word in a dictionary is only a first step. Depending on the context in which the word appears, it can have very different meanings.