Sometimes it’s hard to determine whether a person needs a native speaker or a professional translator. Quite often, many people believe that it’s enough to use online services in order to translate a document or a text. But then it turns out that these actions aren’t sufficient, and time has been lost. It would be good to actually understand who a native speaker is.
When do I need a translator or a proofread by a native speaker?
“Native speaker” is a broad term. Most often, a native speaker is a person who lives inside the environment of a specific language, knows that language on a good level, thinks in it and knows its features. In other words, a native speaker is:
Basically, a person living inside the linguistic environment.
Someone who not only can speak, but who also can write well.
Professional translator who is familiar with all linguistic features.
It wouldn’t go amiss to add an example of when you shouldn’t hope for a good English translation. It’s hard to call a foreigner who’s simply lived on British territory for some time a native speaker. An ensign who colloquially tells soldiers where to go isn’t a native speaker. A native speaker isn’t a schoolboy who might know some nuances, but they aren’t sufficient for translating full-scale texts.
When do you not need native speaker’s services?
Not all translations have to be done by a native speaker. Moreover, there are many categories of translation where a simple translator is sufficient. For instance, instructions for usage of technology or devices, technical characteristics of devices, various accounting algorithms, methodological guidelines. In other words, where clarity and adequacy are the only important matters. In that case it’s enough to get a professional translator involved, who is familiar with such a field. A native speaker, in addition, might not even be familiar with all the names and terms and do more harm than good. The main thing here is to communicate to the reader and the potential client the accurate information that transmits all the aspects of the text. A native speaker can do a proofread in order to make it sound nicer.
When is a proofread enough?
In most cases, the best option of text editing is to give it to a native speaker for a proofread. What does a translator do? They ensure the technical accuracy of a translation, selection of all terms, correctly communicated ideas and information. What does a native speaker do then? Proofreads and edits, takes our words that are an “eye-sore”, colloquialisms, wrongly worded phrases, old-fashioned phrases. Such editing is suitable for other kinds of texts, not just technical ones. It works for documents, legislative acts, simple stories, website content, and promotional articles. A native speaker’s task is to make sure that the text is understood uniformly, nicely. So that the people who would be reading it wouldn’t guess that they’re faced with a translation. And it’s very useful to have a native speaker within a translation agency in this context. Many people are interested in high quality translation. A translation that would not only be clear and accurate, but attractive as well.
When you truly need a native speaker translator
Sometimes, it’s not sufficient to just translate a text. A thorough translation with a native speaker’s help is needed when it’s a case of literature or stories, promotional presentations; when the successful result of a relationship can depend on the quality of the narrative. Such a translation is necessary when the text has to be fully understood by the audience, tailored towards it. The narration of the material like this can be perfectly ideal. There are such situations where the translation is needed less than the creation of a mirror text in a different language.