What Makes a Good Translator?

At Bangula we are proud of our high quality translation work. Work we would not be able to complete without a talented team of great translators.

After 12 years in the industry we’ve put together a little list of what makes a great translator. We use these criteria to select our freelancers and if you’re looking to work as a freelancer in the industry, take these to heart.

Professional training

Like any industry where a high degree of skill and professionalism is required, professional training is a must.

Freelancers and translators should, at the very least, have a basic knowledge of translation theory and methods. When it comes to language requirements, a thorough knowledge of the source language and a deep knowledge of the target language are ideal.

We recommend all translators continue their training throughout their career to ensure their continued expertise and keep on top of new technologies such as CAT tools like Trados

Language Proficiency

An English to Zulu translator needs an expert proficiency in both languages. They need to be able to translate a text in either language so that it carries the meaning and the tone of the original text, while still remaining culturally sensitive and appropriate to the target audience.

Knowledge on the Subject Matter

In order to translate a text effectively a translator must have a thorough knowledge of the subject matter. Nuances, idiomatic expressions and industry specific terms all require a thorough understanding of the topic at hand


A good translator needs to have access to the appropriate resources to assist them in their work – Computer literacy and reliable internet access are a must. Translators should also have a collection of general and specialist bilingual and monolingual dictionaries and style guides at their disposal.


Here at Bangula a strict quality-control process is the foundation of our professional translation service. Translators with proven expertise in your industry or subject matter work alongside proofreaders and editors associated with the Professional Editors’ Group (PEG). All our translators are also members of the South African Translators’ Institute (SATI). They deliver material equal to its original form, but adapted to your cultural and intellectual environment. Regulatory and legislative nuances are also incorporated to provide legitimacy and contextual relevance. You receive a translated version specifically adapted to your needs and your current business environment.

Contact us now for a quote and see our translations page for more information.