Today I’m going to introduce my blog and begin to describe a concept I have developed regarding success in translation and document review. The purpose of this blog is to provide useful information to my colleagues and other interested parties while at the same time increasing the online presence of my business.
My 4 S Philosophy: Skill, Sales, Service, and Self
This title refers to the four dimensions of a vision I have for success, and they can be applied to any field, though I’ll write about translation and document review specifically. Skill and sales mean having a great product and also letting people know about it, while service and self means we need to contribute to our community (associations, colleagues, family, etc.), which includes our own selves and our sense of well-being and happiness. So the two pairs are technical and personal, respectively.
Today I’ll write about The first S: Skill. Skill in translation and document review is all about discipline. Doing what you do not want to do. In order to provide a great product all of the time, first our language skills must be top-notch, for both languages in a given pair or pairs. That means improving a second (or third, or fourth) language in addition to improving our knowledge of a native language. How can we improve our skill in a non-native language? The best way is to live in or visit another country or region where the language is spoken. Barring that, I like movies and novels. Conversation classes with a native speaker or an expert. And to round it out, grammar is important. It’s necessary to know the rules. Having both practical (conversation) and theoretical (grammar/syntax) skill is necessary if you want to be a real expert.
And what about improving your skill in a native language? It’s my native language so I don’t need to work on it, right? Wrong. Even though I’d have considered myself a well-read person with a precise command of the language in my 20s, it wasn’t until I worked as an English teacher for several years that I gained an understanding of the language’s fine points that would be sufficient to allow me to work as a document editor and reviewer. Document review and editing is now an important part of my income.
So if we want to be successful as translators and document reviewers, the first step is not to offer a poor product, or better put, it is to provide a solid and useful product, the logical extension of which is specialization, another very important S, but I won’t count it for now. Best of luck to you all!