Translation is an activity based on written communication. The translator acts as an intermediary between speakers of different languages and cultures. A translator’s work consists of transposing the content of a written document from one language to another while remaining faithful to the message and meaning of the original document. Translators also take into account the kind of text, the target audience and the degree of specialization of the text. Translators possess not only a very good knowledge of the language of the “source” text but also an excellent knowledge of the target language, which ideally is their mother tongue. Translators also have writing and research skills, as well as knowledge in specialized areas.

Some translators work with texts of a general nature while others specialize. Some translators are employed by organizations or companies, while others freelance. Certified translators abide by the code of ethics of their professional association.