The first and foremost professional translation services skill is the effective use of both your language and your target language. This means you should have a thorough understanding of the terminology used in both languages and a high level of ability when transferring ideas between the two languages. These are the most fundamental skills but they go hand in hand with other strategic skills too.
A good translator does not simply transfer word by word between the two languages and that’s the translation task achieved but writing skills play an important role too.
A NAATI translation is done by a translator who has mastered the target language and possesses an unbeatable writing style. This sort of achievement is the making of an excellent translator.
Skills in subject matter
Honing in on subject matter that you believe you can master in two languages will put you above the rest. Subject matter knowledge means you understand the subject so that in your translation you are better equipped to convey the true meaning of the text and use appropriate terms to do so. This comes out as a far more convincing and forceful translation than simply rummaging around for appropriate words that you are unsure really fit the subject matter of the translation.
It might be amazing to imagine but there are some translators with virtually no understanding of subjects like law, business, medicine and engineering who take on detailed materials to translate and which even appear in print. To be thoroughly equipped to conduct a NAATI translation you must possess a high degree of expertise in one specialist area at least which should have been derived from first-hand experience in that field.
Many translation courses seem to omit this in translation degrees thus depriving the new translator of the expert voice that is so often is desired by professional translation services. So often it is found that specialist texts aren’t professionally translated to an expert standard which undermines the expertise of the translation industry.
In summary, in order to produce suitable translated texts to publication standard the translator has to have highly developed skills in the three core areas of writing, translation and subject matter knowledge.