Any great chef can whip up an omelet. But each has their own style — the herb-rich French omelet, the albumin-heavy American omelet, the sweet Japanese tamagoyaki, the list goes on — but either way, you can expect to be served up something tasty.

That said, most world-class chefs aren't famous because of how good their omelets are. It's more along the lines of: "I know you probably know how to make a good omelet, but I didn't come to the top steakhouse in Kobe to have you crack a couple of eggs over the stove."

The point is, when it comes to being an accomplished translator, your linguistic ability should be highly refined and never called into doubt, but that skill in and of itself is rarely what employers are looking for. What sets good translators apart from the rest is their ability as writers, and that ability is dependent on two qualities — how broad your foundational knowledge is, and how easily you can adapt to various kinds of writing.