Importance Of Subject Area Expertise

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The Importance of Subject Area Expertise

When selecting a translation service, there are a number of different questions you should ask before offering them your business. Specifically, you want to know if their translators have

Native-level fluency in the source and target languages
Current cultural understanding relating to both languages
Subject matter expertise

This article takes a look at the third of these items: subject matter expertise.

What is Subject Matter Expertise?

In the world of translation, subject matter expertise refers to the translator 's knowledge of the material being translated. In other words, if your texts are legal documents being translated from English to Arabic, does the translator have an understanding and expertise in the American and Arabic legal system? Should you be looking to translate a cardiology text, does the translator have knowledge and expertise in the field of cardiology?

There are three main types of subject matter expertise: Academic, Experiential, and Performance-based. While these areas may have different designations is various documents and be referenced differently by different services, the fundamental attributes of each is the same regardless of label.

Academic: A translator with an academic level of subject matter experience likely has an advanced degree in the field. This translator not only has the linguistic capacity to translate the documents, but has studied the subject matter, written papers in the field,
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