Competent translators are not just bilingual, they are bicultural. A language is not only a collection of words and grammatical rules to create sentences, but it is a wide system for interconnection of meanings and cultural references.
Competent translators are distinguished by the following:
- Excellent command, written and spoken, of the source and target language
- Familiarity with the subject matter of the text to be translated
- Thorough understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlations between the two languages and
- Fine sense of time when paraphrasing is needed, so as to ensure true and not false equivalent between source and target text
The role of the translator in terms of the text is comparable to that of a master, for example a musician or actor who interprets a work of art. Translation and other arts, inevitably involves choice and choice implies interpretation.