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3.1 Good translators translate into their dominant language
Even if a translator speaks two or more languages very well, one language will be the strongest, especially when it comes to writing. Professional translators call this strongest language their "dominant language." The dominant language is usually, but not always, the first language learned, often called the native language or mother tongue.

To assure the highest translation quality, most professional translators translate only in one direction, into their dominant language. They also make an effort keep their dominant language up to date by reading in that language and visiting countries where their dominant language is spoken.

Professional translators refer to the text to be translated as the "source text" and the translated text as the "target text." Since you want your translations to sound exactly right to native speakers, you want your translator's dominant language to be the language of the target text.

Tip Tip

Ask your translator which language is his or her dominant language and what he or she does to keep it current.
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