Keeping your source language skills up-to-date

Source language skills

One of a translator’s most important assets their source language skills and cultural knowledge and it is important to keep these skills up-to-date. There are many ways to do this, even if you do not live in a country where your source language is spoken.

 

Language meet up groups

There are lots of different groups such as those listed on www.meetup.com which offer people the opportunity to practice their language skills with other speakers of that language.
Pros: inexpensive, might offer good networking opportunities
Cons: reports suggest that these groups are often frequented by people just starting to learn a language, rather than by fluent speakers so you might find yourself teaching your source language.

 

Source language skillsOnline language exchanges

It is often possible to arrange language exchanges via Skype through your local university.
Pros: inexpensive, good opportunity to practice a language as it is actually spoken
Cons: need to find a partner who is fluent in your target language who will not try to use you as a teacher (unless you wish them to do so).

 

Watching source language films

TV channels from many countries are available on the Internet and websites such as Amazon make buying foreign films easy.
Pros: Inexpensive, good for keeping spoken language and listening skills up-to-date
Cons: cultural references might become outdated quickly

 

Reading source language books or magazines

Bookshops in larger cities often have foreign language sections and many magazines have websites where you can subscribe to publications.
Pros: inexpensive, easy to find
Cons: cultural references might become outdated quickly

 

Visiting a country where your source language is spoken

Perhaps the translator’s favourite way to practice their language skills.
Pros: total immersion in your source language and culture, could provide ideal marketing opportunities if you combine a holiday with attending a trade show in your specialisation, chance to make friends from a different culture to you
Cons: expensive, time-consuming

What is your preferred method of keeping your source language skills up-to-date? Are there any other methods you prefer to use?

 
 

See samples of my French into English work

See samples of my Spanish into English work

Get in touch

 
 

Please share this content:
onpost_follow

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *