The ATA Chronicle - March/April 2021 - 28

RESOURCE REVIEW

By Sara Maria Hasbun

and life inevitably gets in the
way, you could be forgiven
for making your studies a
low priority. After all, you're
a translator! You're already
fluent, right?
But don't forget: language
is constantly changing.
It takes work to stay
ahead of the latest slang,
terminology, styles, and
contexts that will affect the
accuracy of your translation
work. Furthermore, the
ability to use language is a
skill that takes familiarity
and practice. As that year
abroad in Madrid drifts
further into the past,
are you able to retrieve
vocabulary as fast as you

How to Maintain Your Working
Languages as a Translator
" Learning is like rowing upstream. If you stop rowing,
you'll start floating backwards. "
-Chinese proverb

once did? Does it take a
little longer to remember
the most elegant solution
for that tricky Japanese
grammar structure? If so,
you might want to consider
working on maintaining
your source language.

Working on Your
Target Language
How about your target

E

very translator knows
that continuous study
is key to remaining

fluent in a second language.
But how much effort do you
put into maintaining your
working language(s)?
I'm a lifelong learner of

languages, I'll make sure
you're convinced this is a
worthwhile pursuit.

Working on Your
Source Language

language? The language
you translate into is usually
your native language. Does it
really need any extra work?
It used to seem crazy to
me that someone might
actually need to expend
effort studying their own

As a translator, your source

native language. I couldn't

language is most likely not

believe that my ability to

your native language. You

gracefully produce sentence

probably spent many years

upon sentence of well-

studying and perfecting it

crafted American English

until the day you decided

could deteriorate with time.

you knew enough to take

But it has become shockingly

the leap and become a

clear just how fast language

Spanish>English and

translator. But after that, did

changes and that I need to

French>English translator.

you keep studying?

make a real effort to keep up.

languages-Spanish, French,
Mandarin, American Sign
Language, Korean, and
currently studying Cantonese.
While I run a language
services agency, my previous
life was as a freelance

Before I launch into my
favorite tools and strategies

28

for learning and maintaining

The ATA Chronicle | March/April 2021

As translation work
(hopefully) starts to pile up

This is even more the case
if you're living in a country
www.atanet.org


http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - March/April 2021

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