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Seasoned Translators: What They Should Consistently Do

There is always the first time for everything. It’s true in translation too.

When I first entered this translation industry on a freelance basis, I have this fear of failing to succeed, let alone survive. However, gaining information and knowledge from reliable sources and acquiring thorough, more than adequate understanding of translation business intricacies have greatly helped me survive and thrive in this growing business.

With the unstoppable incoming wave of novice translators, more seasoned translators must creatively and professionally find ways to stay in high demand and at a high or, at least, standard tariff while consistently maintaining high quality.

Novice translators increasingly tend to bid and accept low tariff in order to get their first jobs. This might be acceptable in their first few years of working as freelance translators. However, they must not be carried away too long with the consistently low tariff throughout their career. Once they reach a more steady level, they should also increase their tariff to a more decent one. Low tariff almost all the time relates to low quality.

It is indeed true that there is always an editor as part of quality control process. Nevertheless, a novice translator must not blindly rely on their editor and submit poor quality translation. Agencies must not practice similar reliance. In any circumstances, any translators must submit their high quality translations: no grammatical mistakes, no spelling errors, no referential errors, and no major errors.

Yes, translators are indeed humans who are prone to make mistakes. Hence, second and third eyes, the so-called editors or proofreaders or reviewers, are no doubt needed to ensure faultless translations. An editor must avoid making preferential edits. Instead, when the translation is close to flawless, they should make encouraging comments. A widespread opinion among editors is they fear of being falsely assumed not to work when they do not make any revisions to a translation. Instead, editors must bear in mind that when they do make some edits to such flawlessness, the edits must aim to increase the translation’s readability, rather than trying hard to make up nonexistent mistakes.

With the correct, shared understanding of the flow of translation work and the functions of each role, either as a translator, editor, or agency, translation industry will gain an increasing reputation in the eyes of other industries and may eventually take the same position as other more established industries. When translation business actors respect each other, we are paving the way to a more established, reputable translation business.

Prepositional Adverbs in Legal Texts

A prepositional adverb may be easily interpreted as “there” or “here” + one or more prepositions.

Some people call it pronominal adverb: a type of adverb occurring in a number of Germanic languages, formed in replacement of a preposition and a pronoun by turning the latter into a locative adverb and the former into a prepositional adverb and joining them in reverse order. (Wiktionary)

Some people also call it a compound preposition. However it is called, it adds many extra words making writings exaggeratedly formal. In this article, I specifically use the term prepositional adverb.

If you encounter legal translations with many prepositional adverbs or if you are somehow required to use them, first of all you need to read through and understand the correct definitions of prepositions.

Prepositions are used to express the relationship of a noun or pronoun (or another grammatical element functioning as a noun) to the rest of the sentence (The Free Dictionary). They indicate place, time, direction, etc. They are not that easy to use, and you just have to learn them by heart.

The language of contracts uses many prepositional adverbs, such as hereof, hereunder, therein, thereinabove, etc. Giving a legal smell, most of “here-” and “there-“ words are considered archaic today and mainly found in legal contracts and other formal styles although some others are very common.

The word “here” refers to the document you currently have in hand. To understand the meaning of “here-” words, just reverse the order of “here” and the preposition, and replace “here” with “this [document]”.


1. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be executed in two copies, each of which has equal legal force and is to be retained by each party.

Meaning: IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties to this Agreement have caused this Agreement to be executed in two copies, each of which has equal legal force and is to be retained by each party.

2. Each Party must comply with the provisions set forth hereinbelow.

Meaning: Each Party must comply with the provisions set forth below in this Agreement.

Note on hereafter and hereinafter:

Hereafter means henceforth, at some future time.


1. The regulation shall be effective hereafter.

Meaning: The regulation shall be effective after the day on which [this Law] takes effect.

Meanwhile, hereinafter means in a part of this document that follows.


1. The Parties have agreed that an exchange of letters hereinafter referred to constitutes the Agreement.

Meaning: The Parties have agreed that an exchange of letters referred to later [in this paragraph] constitutes the Agreement.

The same goes with “there”, which refers to something mentioned earlier. You must be extra careful when determining the noun referred to in each context.


1. Please read Article 5, including all of the paragraphs thereunder.

Meaning: Please read Article 5, including all of the paragraphs listed under Article 5.

2. The company and the employees thereof must not act in contravention of the laws and regulations on labor.

Meaning: The company and the employees of the company must not act in contravention of the laws and regulations on labor.

3. The payments and the interests thereon must be duly paid.

Meaning: The payments and the interests on the payments must be duly paid.

The more you are exposed to legal reads, you will find these prepositional adverbs more often. Here is the non-exhaustive list.

“Here-” Words “There-” Words
hereafter thereafter
hereagainst thereagainst
hereat thereat
hereby thereby
herefrom therefor (different from “therefore”; this means “for that”)
herein therefore (this means “because of that”)
hereinafter therefrom
hereinabove therein
hereinbefore (think of this as “herein and herebefore”) thereinafter (think of this as “therein and thereafter”)
hereinbelow (think of this as “herein and herebelow”) thereinbefore (think of this as “therein and therebefore”)
hereinto thereinto
hereof thereof
hereon thereon
hereover thereover
hereto thereto
heretofore (this “fore” means “before”, so “heretofore” is “before this”, “previously”) theretofore (this “fore” means “before”, so “theretofore” is “before that”, “until that time”)
hereunder thereunder
hereunto thereunto
herewith (this is “here with” as in “together with this”) therewith (this is “there with” as in “together with that”)
herewithin therewithin

You may also unexpectedly encounter “where-” words, such as whereby, wherefore, wherefrom, wherein, whereof, whereon, whereunder, whereupon, wherewith, wherewithin, etc.

However, it is particularly important to note that the current tendency is promoting plain English, in which the use of such prepositional adverbs in legal texts is decreasing.

Every time you meet any of the prepositional adverbs in your readings or translation works, don’t be panic. Just remember the pattern and way to figure out the meaning as briefly explained hereinabove. Happy translating! 🙂

Important Links:

Translation vs Localization

Why is our field creating a difference between translation and localization?

Isn’t translation the job of transferring source texts to culturally correct target texts for native speakers/readers?

There are different opinions on this issue.

Some say localization is part of translation. Translation means transfer of source texts to target texts, but localization goes beyond adjustment of source texts to cultural differences in corresponding target languages. Localization is not a fancy word, but a new “style” of translation. It is a coined philosophical terminology for translators. Something outside of the realm of translation. For that reason, there is no such thing as “localization vs translation”. Instead, localization is a specialized field of translation, primarily on software (desktop apps, mobile apps, websites, video games).

On the other hand, some argue that localization is not part of translation, but the inverse is true. To localize contents, you must step back from simple translation and start to use “the art of trans-creation”. Pure translation does not localize anything. Localization is not a matter of Cultural Pattern, but Public Relations, Marketing, and E-Commerce.

When a translator translates to another language, the translator works on intercultural field. And it is not localization.

Try a simple test: choose a product, go to Google, and search for the product. Try to do the same by using filters for a language and country.

Everyone knows that localization is the return of the beginning. English has been globalizing the world. Those who think that translation is the mother of localization forget studies on Metalanguage.

*summarized from a discussion with professional translators

Alat Pendukung Penerjemahan

Saya yakin bahwa kita selalu belajar hal baru setiap hari dan salah satu cara paling efektif untuk belajar adalah mendengar agihan orang lain. Sebagai penerjemah di abad ke-21, kita tentu dimanjakan dengan banyaknya alat bantu/pendukung yang didesain untuk mempermudah pekerjaan dan hidup kita. Tapi, banyak hal yang kita tidak tahu atau gunakan semaksimal mungkin. Alat bantu berikut ini, di antara banyak alat bantu lainnya, baik rumit maupun sederhana, gratis maupun berbayar, sangat mendukung saya dalam penerjemahan untuk peningkatan produktivitas, manajemen waktu, kolaborasi, pembacaan pruf, dll. Sstt…bahkan, sosial media memainkan peran sangat penting untuk saya. 🙂

Trados 2014 dan Wordfast – 2 alat penerjemahan berbantuan komputer (CAT tools) yang paling sering saya pakai untuk meningkatkan produktivitas penerjemahan, menjaga konsistensi hasil terjemahan, dll.

Dropbox – Sangat bermanfaat untuk menyimpan berkas ukuran besar dengan aman dan berbagi berkas tersebut dengan rekan kerja.

Text to Speech – Fitur dalam Microsoft Word ini membacakan teks dan membuat perbedaan sangat besar pada suntingan akhir teks terjemahan. Telinga mendengar hal yang tidak dilihat mata. 😀

Google site:search – Memungkinkan saya mencari hanya satu domain (bukan seluruh Internet) untuk mencari istilah tertentu. Sangat praktis saat saya perlu menggunakan terminologi sangat spesifik tapi memang belum tentu ada daftar istilah resmi.

Microsoft Language Portal – Saya dapat mencari semua istilah, panduan gaya, dan terjemahan antarmuka pengguna dalam lebih dari 50 bahasa. Semuanya resmi digunakan oleh Microsoft.

Flipboard – Memungkinkan saya memilih jenis berita yang ingin saya tahu (misalnya berita internasional, bisnis, buku, dll). Mudah digunakan dengan beragam sumber dan tata letak ciamik!

FreePdfConvert – Memudahkan konversi berkas sumber terjemahan PDF ke Word, Excel, dan PowerPoint. Sangat bermanfaat dan menghemat waktu untuk penerjemah.

CutePDF Writer – Biasanya, saya memakai perangkat lunak ini untuk mengonversi berkas tagihan ke PDF sebelum mengirimkannya ke klien (agensi atau klien akhir).

Avast Online Security – Ini adalah ekstensi Google Chrome dengan perangkat lunak antivirus Avast gratis. Saat melakukan pencarian di Google, Avast Online Security memeriksa reputasi situs web dalam daftar pencarian, dan memperingatkan kita saat akan mengunjungi situs web dengan reputasi buruk. Ini cara yang baik bagi penerjemah dalam meningkatkan keamanan daring, khususnya karena kita melakukan sangat banyak pencarian di Google.

Facebook dan Twitter – Dua media sosial yang paling sering saya gunakan untuk berbagi berbagai hal, mulai dari agihan profesional sampai kegemaran/hal favorit (resep masakan, musik, kucing, anak-anak, dll) dan hal-hal lain yang mungkin dianggap remeh-temeh oleh sebagian orang.

Sihapei, Proz, Translatorscafe – Profil profesional di berbagai direktori andal untuk penerjemah dan juru bahasa. Di sini, saya bisa mempromosikan jasa terjemahan secara kreatif dengan konten bermanfaat sesuai dengan spesialisasi saya.

Blog pribadi – Blog khusus saya di WordPress berisi tentang beragam catatan pribadi dan kadang tulisan sangat singkat tentang penerjemahan. Namanya blog pribadi, kita boleh mengisinya dengan apa pun sesuai keinginan kita. Dalam waktu dekat, saya berencana membuat daftar istilah yang mudah-mudahan dapat dijadikan rujukan oleh rekan-rekan penerjemah.

Spelling and Grammar Check – Karena saya bukan penutur asli bahasa Inggris, selalu ada kemungkinan kesalahan tik (typo). Fitur ini selalu mengingatkan saya tentang ejaan yang benar dan membantu dalam menyusun kalimat dengan tata bahasa yang benar. Selain itu, saya bisa memastikan ketepatan ejaan dan tata bahasa di setiap email atau kiriman di media sosial!

Very Brief Note for Newcomers

Translators and interpreters must be fluent in their languages of choice. People who make serious efforts to increase their translation and interpreting capacity will certainly excel at what they do.

From there, possibilities for translation jobs will be wide open. From online work to travel opportunities to complete translation work in many places around the world, the options are nearly limitless.

For new translators, it is a smart idea to begin with online work in order to gain experience and build a portfolio of accomplished projects. Consider no job too small to work on when first starting out as a translator. This will pay off in that, once proven, bigger jobs will come if the quality of the smaller jobs measures up and even surpasses expectations. Small jobs give experience from which translators can move on if bigger offers do not come in a timely fashion from a particular employer or client.

Translators are needed in so many aspects of life and industry. For example, medical translations of medical records, doctor instructions or even manuals to medical equipment are an important and vital part of the medical industry. Literary translations of writings make books available in many different languages around the world while technical writings need precise translations to ensure the target audience clearly understands the translation.

Start now. Be consistent. Specialize. Stand out. 🙂

Sepenggal Catatan tentang APTIF ke-8, 17-18 Juni 2016, di Xi’an, China

Dengan semakin meningkatnya komunikasi bilateral dan multilateral serta semakin dalamnya integrasi regional, Asia Pasifik telah menjadi kawasan paling dinamis dalam hal meningkatnya signifikansi strategis dalam pembangunan global. Di sisi lain, kawasan ini menampilkan keragaman budaya dan bahasa yang sangat luas. Oleh karena itu, penerjemahan dan jasa bahasa lainnya memiliki signifikansi khusus untuk komunikasi dan kerja sama kawasan.

Asia-Pacific Translation and Interpreting Forum (APTIF) ke-8 di Xi’an, China, pada 17-18 Juni 2016, menjawab tantangan tersebut. Dengan International Federation of Translators (FIT) dan Translators Association of China (TAC) sebagai tuan rumah dan Xi’an International Studies University (XISU) sebagai penyelenggara, forum ini menjadi tempat berkumpul lebih dari 400 peserta dari lebih dari 30 negara di kawasan Asia Pasifik dan negara-negara lain di luar kawasan Asia Pasifik.


Tema APTIF ke-8 adalah “Behind the Scenes: Translation and Interpreting in Tomorrow’s Asia-Pacific Region”. Sesi-sesi dalam forum ini berfokus pada peluang dan tantangan dalam pendidikan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan, kemajuan teknologi, standardisasi dan inovasi dalam teori dan praktik dalam era baru ini yang ditandai dengan semakin dalamnya komunikasi regional dan teknologi Internet. Berbagai gagasan tentang meningkatkan komunikasi komunitas penerjemah dan juru bahasa di kawasan ini untuk memfasilitasi kerja sama dan pembangunan budaya dan ekonomi regional menjadi inti diskusi.

Akademisi dan pakar dari lebih dari 20 negara dan kawasan di seluruh dunia mengirimkan 492 abstrak, dan sekitar 150 di antaranya dipilih untuk dipresentasikan dan sisanya ditampilkan dalam poster oleh Panitia Program.

Forum ini bertujuan untuk menyoroti peran para profesional bahasa dalam pembangunan regional dan mendorong evolusi penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan di Asia Pasifik. Lebih dari 450 peserta dari lebih dari 200 universitas, perusahaan, instansi pemerintah, dan berbagai lembaga di seluruh dunia berkumpul untuk mengamati masa kini dan masa depan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan. Para peserta membahas peran yang telah dimainkan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan dalam pertumbuhan regional saat ini dari beragam perspektif, bertukar pengalaman dalam teknologi penerjemahan, aturan praktik industri penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan, komunikasi antarbudaya, dan pendidikan penerjemah dan juru bahasa. Khususnya, dalam menghadapi perubahan saat ini, para peserta membahas tren studi dan industri penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan serta mempertimbangkan peluang dan tantangan bagi penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan.

Teknologi Baru dan Masa Depan Industri Penerjemahan

Menurut publikasi Language Service Market: 2015 (DePalma, Pielmeier, Stewart, & Henderson, 2015) yang diterbitkan oleh Common Sense Advisory, jasa bahasa menguasai 92,2% dari bisnis penyedia jasa bahasa (LSP) (penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan memiliki persentase terbesar dalam jasa bahasa, diikuti pelokalan dan rekayasa, media, desktop publishing, manajemen proyek, dll). Persentase jasa nonbahasa, seperti konsultasi dan pelatihan umum, sebesar 5% dan persentase teknologi bahasa 2,8%.

Teknologi baru telah berkembang pesat dan dramatis, dan hal ini telah membawa perubahan besar pada industri penerjemahan. IBM mengumumkan rencananya tentang cloud computing pada 2007 (Chen Kang & Zheng Weimin, 2009), sedangkan Nature menerbitkan publikasi khusus tentang data besar pada 2008 (Meng Xiaofeng & Ci Yiang, 2013). Dalam jasa bahasa, SDL dan Yup China meluncurkan pusat pengalaman cloud computing dan platform jasa multibahasa berbasis cloud computing pada 2011. Language Big Data League yang dikepalai National Committee for MTI Education China pada April 2016 adalah contoh pengembangan bidang ini di masa datang. Penerapan cloud computing dan data besar dalam industri jasa bahasa serta penerjemahan berbantuan komputer (CAT) dan penerjemahan mesin di era data besar telah menjadi fokus utama dalam lingkaran industri dan akademik.

Standardisasi Jasa Bahasa

Penerjemahan berkualitas buruk akan menimbulkan berbagai dampak negatif pada citra industri penerjemahan. Untuk memperbaiki situasi ini, para peneliti membuat sistem manajemen dan evaluasi ilmiah, standar, dan efektif untuk mengembangkan standardisasi jasa bahasa dan mendorong pengembangan industri penerjemahan yang kuat dan teratur.

Uni Eropa, yang membutuhkan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan dalam kuantitas besar, memberikan perspektif tentang pembentukan standar regional dan bahkan internasional. Liese Katschinka memperkenalkan European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association dan berbagai upaya yang dilakukan untuk menetapkan standar internasional dalam penjurubahasaan hukum, memberikan gagasan untuk membahas standar dalam bidang spesialisasi yang melampaui standar umum kualitas penerjemahan.

Teori dan Praktik dalam Penerjemahan dan Komunikasi Antarbudaya

Pelokalan, komunikasi teknis, dan manajemen proyek adalah penanda baru industrialisasi penerjemahan dalam beberapa tahun terakhir, dan telah menjadi topik populer dalam kajian penerjemahan terapan. Pertukaran budaya menjadi landasan utama “hubungan antarmanusia”.

Inovasi dalam Pendidikan Penerjemahan dan Penjurubahasaan di Era Informasi

Dengan semakin matangnya industri jasa bahasa dan tumbuhnya pasar, para pengajar penerjemah dan juru bahasa harus mengkaji ulang tujuan mereka, memahami dengan jelas peran literasi teknologi sebagai komponen kualitas para profesional secara keseluruhan, mendefinisikan kembali isi kurikulum serta menerapkan pembaruan dalam model dan metode pengajaran dengan dukungan teknologi baru sebagai alat dan motif.

Beberapa ide yang dapat dikembangkan oleh universitas yang memiliki fakultas budaya dan mengajarkan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan adalah sebagai berikut:

Penerapan teknologi sumber terbuka (open-source) sebagai platform manajemen pengajaran sumber terbuka, alat CAT, sistem pencarian pangkalan data, dan platform manajemen pengetahuan. Teknologi sumber terbuka akan menjadi sektor khusus dalam teknologi penerjemahan.

Diskusi daring (online) perlu didorong dalam komunikasi antara pengajar dan mahasiswa.

Model kolaboratif bahasa untuk tujuan khusus (LSP) perlu didorong untuk pelatihan penerjemah untuk meningkatkan kesadaran mahasiswa akan tata bahasa dan kolokasi bahasa Inggris (atau bahasa asing lainnya), mendorong pembelajaran peristilahan LSP dan struktur kalimat, dan meningkatkan kepuasan akan pengajaran penerjemahan melalui penggunaan alat CAT berbasis web.

Dalam pengembangan kurikulum, disarankan agar pengajaran penjurubahasaan menggunakan studi kasus. Analisis perlu dilakukan dalam hal tantangan yang dihadapi pengajar, murid, dan pembuat kurikulum.

Untuk menghindari terjadinya kesalahpahaman lingkaran akademik akan penerjemahan sastra, diperlukan kelas penerjemahan yang memperkenalkan konsep dan metode penerjemahan sastra untuk mahasiswa.

Masa depan dunia sangat tergantung pada masa depan Asia Pasifik, sedangkan pertumbuhan di Asia Pasifik sangat terkait dengan perkembangan teknologi modern. Industri jasa bahasa dalam konteks ini telah mengalami perubahan setiap hari dan membawa tugas-tugas baru untuk pengajaran dan pelatihan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan.

On the Newspaper

It is such a great honor for me to have my profile published on the local daily newspaper, Pikiran Rakyat, on Wednesday, 3 September 2014.

My deepest appreciation goes to Mr. Imam Jahrudin Priyanto, the article’s writer.

Hopefully, I will be able to become a much better and improved translator in the future and HPI becomes more prominent.

Enjoy the article!


TransCon 2014

Invitation to TransCon 2014 – as Observers

The Department of Applied English Linguistics (LTBI) of the Graduate School of Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, is inviting you to participate in:

TransCon 2014

The 4th Atma Jaya International Conference in Translation & Interpretation Studies
13 September 2014
“Empowering Translators: The Art of Thriving in the Translation Industry.”

The Department of Applied English Linguistics (LTBI), Graduate School of Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, invites all those interested in translation and interpretation studies as well as those working in the industry to participate in TransCon 2014.

There are three different events you can attend in TransCon 2014. The Main Conference purely focuses on a wide range of aspects of translation and interpretation studies. In addition to the Main Conference, we also invite all professional translators/interpreters to submit an abstract and share their professional experiences and expertise in the Professional Sharing Sessions. It is always interesting to hear a small episode of a professional translator’s life: the challenges in the translation industry and strategies to cope with the issues. Furthermore, in TransCon 2014, participants are privileged to attend a Legal Translation Workshop, during which they will be introduced to the common issues and challenges of legal translation (Indonesian <> English) through translation practice and feedback from the authority.

This TransCon 2014 is therefore especially targeted at both novice and sophisticated translators, academics, researchers, students, aspiring translators or interpreters. They will be able to explore the theoretical aspects of translation and interpretation and at the same time gain hands-on skills and tips from professional translators.

Sekolah Pascasarjana, Building C, 8th Floor, Kampus Unika Atma Jaya,
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman 51, Jakarta Selatan.
Saturday, 13 September 2014 08.00 – 16.30 WIB

Dr. Sugeng Hariyanto (State Polytechnic of Malang) teaches Translation Studies at the Graduate Program of the Faculty of Culture Studies, University of Brawijaya, Malang and English for Marketing at the State Polytechnic of Malang. He is also an English-Indonesian translator, localizer, and transcreator. His research interest includes translation, localization, translation teaching, and applied linguistics in business communication. His thought on translation competence, principles, and processes of website localization is presented in his Website Translation and Localization (2014), a revised and enriched version of Website Translation (2014).

John H. McGlynn, an American-born resident of Indonesia, is the translator of several dozen publications. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, with a Master’s degree in Indonesian language and literature. As Director of Publications of the Lontar Foundation, a literary institution he co-founded in 1987, he has brought into print more than 150 books on Indonesian literature and culture by more than 250 Indonesian authors.


Evand Halim (Graduate School of Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia) is currently teaching Translation in the Master’s degree program, Department of Applied English Linguistics, Graduate School of Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia. Evand is also Vice Chair of the Competency and Certification Committee at the Association of Indonesian Translators (HPI). He is charged with developing and administering the National Certification Examination for Indonesian translators. Additionally, Evand is widely recognized today as a prominent authority on legal translation in Indonesia, having a host of teaching experiences in various governmental, non-governmental, and private organizations as well as law firms.


• Students (Indonesian nationals): IDR 350,000
• Indonesian Nationals: IDR 600,000
• Foreign Nationals (students and non-students): USD 70
* HPI Members: IDR 500,000

*The fee will cover a conference kit, proceedings, lunch, snacks, and a certificate


If you are interested in attending TransCon 2014, please sign up immediately, for seats are limited. To register, please complete the attached Registration Form and pay the registration fee either in cash or by bank transfer. If you pay by bank transfer, kindly make payment to our account as described below:

Bank: CIMB Niaga
Beneficiary: Yayasan Atma Jaya
Account No. 440-01-00473-00-4
write your name for TransCon 2014

and kindly deliver the completed registration form together with a copy of the bank payment slip:

(i) directly to Sekretariat Sekolah Pascasarjana Unika Atma Jaya, Building C, 7th Floor, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 51, Jakarta Selatan
(ii) by email to;
(iii) by facsimile to (021) 574-1841 (attn. Katrin/TransCon 2014 – your name).

To get the flyer and registration form, please send an email to

Translation: Revisited

To be a translator is not easy. No fence to entry into translation as a profession makes newcomers confident that being bilingual only will do. However, it demands more than that and one must not expect this to be that simple.

Translators must bear in mind that they must not raise any credibility issue with their clients in terms of language. In the case of Indonesia, the most popular language pair in demand is English-Indonesian where hundreds of translators jump in without deeper knowledge on English grammar, let alone specific knowledge. Having a degree and/or credentials in language will be of much help not only in terms of high quality output but also in terms of reasonable, premium rates. Translators must also avoid fatal typos in any correspondence with clients and in works submitted.

Knowledge in specific fields is the next determinant of becoming a successful translator. Translators must realize that each field has a set of vocabulary to be grasped before accepting real jobs. Such knowledge will help translators to best translate terms from the source language into the target language without any blunders in jargon. Nevertheless, as translators are not experts, and do not have to be ones, my legal translator facilitator and mentor, Evand Halim, wisely emphasized that “a translator is not an expert who knows everything, but one who knows where to go when in trouble”. This is why a good translator is a good researcher, who will find myriad ways to conquer difficult terminologies.

As being specialized does not mean confined, one translator can specialize in a number of areas so long as s/he uses their best efforts to gain [more than] sufficient knowledge on those areas. In this case, note that a translator needs to identify the field in which s/he has the strongest skill, and then the fields of interest.

Also, capacity enhancement through courses and training will create competent translators. I, being specialized in legal translation (and oil and gas translation as my immediate field of interest), took legal translation courses and legal English test for my credentials in a prominent private university in Indonesia. I then realized the need to refresh and simultaneously hone my English grammar skill and knowledge in addition to those I acquired during my college years in the English Department of UNPAD. I consequently attended an English grammar course for writers and translators in the same private university above with the same facilitator.

Since there is more knowledge and stricter competition now, specialization has taken on new significance. By specialization, more efficient translation can then be ensured because translators are familiar and contented with the material being translated. Not only does specialization benefit translators, it also helps clients choose the right translators for their projects. Using CAT tools adds to the skills not only to meet the increasing requirements but also to help boost the productivity of translators. These are, among others, the reasons why HPI (Association of Indonesian Translators) builds Indonesian Directory of Translators and Interpreters as the database for users to easily find credible translators matching their needs.

Last but not least, though rarely exposed, talent is important. Talents for languages and writing play a vital role to translators to ensure readability of their outputs and to stand out from the crowd.

Buku Bahtera 3: Pesona Penyingkap Makna

Mengawali tahun 2013 yang belum lama kita masuki, milis penerjemah Bahtera kembali meluncurkan buku kumpulan tulisan para anggotanya. Buku pertama, Tersesat Membawa Nikmat (TMN), yang terbit pada tahun 2009, didominasi oleh penuturan para penerjemah dan juru bahasa tentang perjalanan karier mereka yang seolah diawali secara tidak sengaja. Buku kedua, Menatah Makna (MM), yang terbit pada tahun 2011, menekankan unsur keterampilan dan kerja keras serta ‘jam terbang’ yang dijalani pelaku profesi ini dalam kegiatan usaha mereka sebagai penyampai makna. Buku ke-3 dengan tajuk Pesona Penyingkap Makna (PPM) ingin lebih menekankan sisi daya tarik profesi ini yang menyebabkan beberapa penulis dengan yakin dan percaya diri beralih profesi.

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Daftar Isi:

Pengantar Ketua Dewan Kehormatan HPI



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