Translator Kaiwhakawhiti Reo ā-Tuhi

Translators convert written material from one language into another.

Translators may do some or all of the following:

  • read material from the source language and rewrite it in the required (target) language
  • check that the original meaning and feeling of the text is not lost
  • ensure that technical terms are correctly translated
  • proofread and edit other translators' work
  • discuss clients' translation requirements and give quotations for services provided
  • research the meaning of words and terminology using dictionaries and the internet
  • use computer-aided translation tools.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for translators includes:

  • work with people from different cultures such as new migrants
  • work in professional sectors such as law enforcement, scientific, legal, technical or medical environments
  • living and working overseas – for example, going on a student exchange programme
  • language study.

Personal Qualities

Translators need to be:

  • adaptable and motivated
  • able to keep information confidential
  • able to work efficiently under pressure
  • able to concentrate for long periods
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • creative
  • skilled at writing and research
  • organised, with good administration skills.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for translators includes:

  • work with people from different cultures such as new migrants
  • work in professional sectors such as law enforcement, scientific, legal, technical or medical environments
  • living and working overseas – for example, going on a student exchange programme
  • language study.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful secondary school subjects include English, languages, history and geography.

Translators may get experience at a government department or commercial service, then move on to set up their own businesses.

With further training, translators may also become interpreters (translating the spoken word).

Translator