Translators from Abroad
Foreign translators are translators born outside of the United States. Of course, from the perspective of other countries, a foreign translator would be an 'American translator.' Foreign translators are best when translating documents into their native languages.
Who Are They
Foreign translators are language professionals specializing in certain language pairs. They like mobility and take advantage of the fact that translation services can be done anywhere. The best translators stay in their home countries for at least a few months every year. Staying in their country helps them be aware of the constant changes in language.
Most foreign translators will be working in one of these language pairs:
- English to Spanish
- English to Chinese
- English to Russian
- English to Portuguese
These four language pairs alone are responsible for more than 50% of the translation work being provided by foreign translators.
Unlike American translators, who have easy access to the best translation schools globally, foreign translators usually learn the 'trade' just by practicing. Higher-end professionals will eventually participate in international congresses and enroll in professional education courses in translation. However, only after making enough money with translation will they be able to afford such an education.
Translators in Europe may represent an exception since their economies are closer to the US. There are competitive translation schools and associations in Europe, although in a much smaller proportion as in the US.
Foreign translators are usually less picky than American translators. An exception would be French translators, who are picky and cantankerous by nature. Latin translators will usually see themselves as super-heroes who could handle any subject matter and any workload in any timeline. Translators in Africa and other developing nations will not have as much demand. So, whenever they have an opportunity to work, they will bend backward to get the job.
It is difficult to generalize the traits of foreign translators. Different countries mean different cultures and professional traits.
Anyhow, foreign translators are a central piece of the translation puzzle. Without people working around the globe with languages, there wouldn't be a global communication.
When They Are a Must
Foreign translators are a must for translations involving languages other than English as the target pair. For translation projects such as English to French, English to German, and English to Japanese, you must have a native speaker of French, German and Japanese - respectively - translating the documents.