Should a native speaker be always engaged as a translator?


You would probably agree that it sounds rather attractive when we talk about a translation made by a native speaker. However, if we look deeper into the meaning of this phrase, a question emerges: in what way can a native speaker translate texts from Ukrainian into English, German or other languages?

Let’s define who a native speaker is. A native speaker is an individual who represents a certain language community, knows its language norms and actively uses this language in various spheres of everyday, socio-cultural, and professional communication.

In other words, a translation by a native speaker is not just a translation but an adaptation of a text in line with the grammatical, linguistic and socio-cultural particularities inherent in the country which speaks the target language of the translation.

So, under what circumstances would it be recommended that a native speaker be engaged in a translation? Here they are.

  1. Translation of presentations, advertising and marketing materials.
  2. Website translation and software localization.
  3. Literary translation.

As a rule, most translation agencies follow two approaches to engaging native speakers.

The first approach is usually applied to translating from English into another foreign language. English is considered an international language, and most people have a sufficient and high-level command of it. Many native speakers graduated from American and British universities and have diplomas to confirm it; that’s why such an option as a translation made by a native speaker from English into another foreign language is acceptable and used quite often worldwide.

The second approach is applied to translating from Ukrainian into a foreign language. The algorithm here is quite simple: first, a certified translator translates, and then a native speaker proofreads the translation. Such an approach is quite advisable and a win-win, as not all native speakers have a sufficient command of Ukrainian to be able to grasp all its grammatical, stylistic and socio-cultural intricacies and transpose them to their native languages. Even a good command of Ukrainian is not a 100% guarantee that a translation made by a native speaker will be correct and adequate because a translator should not just be fluent in some language but also feel it from within, and its proper understanding requires living in a certain country for many years.

However, it is worth noting that there is a mandatory requirement for a native speaker to be able to proofread a translation. It is regular communication between a certified translator and a native speaker, who can answer possible questions or give clarifications to accurately communicate the content of the translation and cultural patterns of the country speaking the target language.

You can order translation/proofreading by a native speaker by leaving your request on the website, sending it to our e-mail or messengers.

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