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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



Indria Salim: Singa Mati

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  8. Rosmeilan Siagian: Ikut AJLET, yuk!

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My Online Profiles

To have online profiles on the Internet is a big MUST for translators nowadays. Let me tell you the reasons:

  1. Online profiles will globally increase the presence and exposure of translators; therefore, it is called a smart online global marketing strategy.
  2. It will be easier for clients around the world to find and assess translators based on their needs and requirements.

Realizing that excellent online profiles are vital and they are keys to my success, I make some profiles accessible by the general public, especially by clients who are in need of a quality translator like me. 😉
You can find me in SiHaPeI, Proz, TranslatorsCafe, and LinkedIn.

Happy clicking and do not hesitate to contact me should you have documents to be translated! 🙂

A Legal Translator


This is the answer to my dream.

I finally become a legal translator (English into Indonesian vv) instead of a general translator. My involvement in Bahtera mailing list of translators and HPI (Association of Indonesian Translators) takes me to a new level of awareness on specialization.

Following up such awareness, I took basic to advanced legal translation courses in Atma Jaya Catholic University in 2012 with Evand Halim as the fabulous facilitator. The certificates awarded for completing the three-level course spoil me as a legal translator with strong credentials, in addition to the recent AJLET (Atma Jaya Legal English Test) Score Report on January 2013.

My knowledge on legal translation has been increasing, e.g. on certificates (birth, death, marriage), certificates of heirship, contracts/agreements, civil and criminal proceedings, etc. Such knowledge and my willingness to always learn are certainly of high importance to me. And that makes me a quality legal translator as reflected on my premium rates.

This is a bona fide article. IT IS.

Forget the Hurt

Someday, we’ll forget the hurt, the reason we cried and who caused us pain.
We will finally realize that the secret of being free is not revenge, but letting things untold in their own way and own time.
After all, what matters is not the first, but the last chapter of our life which shows how well we ran the race.
So smile, laugh, forgive, believe and love all over again.
– Unknown –

Yeah, the quote is so true.

Hardships knock on my door. Bitter tears roll down my cheek. I was, and still am, exposed to ridicule and underestimation.

But, then, my eyes are full of sweet, happy tears knowing that God is always with me and carries me to make it through those hard times.

Forget the hurt, smile, and look to the future. 🙂

Hello world!

Welcome to my world!

Here you can read my life stories, interests, thoughts, consolation and other things I gladly share with you.

Hope my stories are worth reading, listening and make your life more worth living.

Enjoy my blog! 😉