Technically, translating and interpreting are two distinct professions. The focus of a translator’s work is on translating written content between languages, even though both positions need proficiency in at least one extra language.
Typically, translators translate into their mother tongue from a source language. Writing in one’s own language is typically simpler and results in content that is usually smoother and more natural, even when a translator may completely comprehend their source language and even be able to write in it fairly well.
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Steps to Become a Translator
1. Study your source language
You must first choose a language and spend a lot of time studying it. For almost every live language, there is translation work available, and there is a case to be made for studying almost every language you can think of. Naturally, the most popular languages have a greater demand for translators.
Although there is more competition for jobs since more individuals are proficient in these languages. Even while there could be fewer opportunities for less widely spoken languages, learning one could set you apart from the competition and provide you access to positions that are in demand.
2. Take specialist training
The truth is that just because you speak a language well doesn’t guarantee you can translate well. In addition to language education, clear, effective translation frequently requires specialized training.
3. Earn a credential
Getting certified in translation is a simple method to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and abilities required for the job. You can use the specific designation (“CT”) that comes with ATA certification along with your name on your CV, website, business cards, and/or other promotional materials.
In addition, there are certificates available for the sector; nevertheless, interpreters are frequently the focus of these. For instance, the “CMI” (Certified Medical Interpreter) accreditation is offered by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.
4. Concentrate on a particular industry and become familiar with its lingo.
Once a language is second nature to you, you should focus on learning phrases that are unique to the industry in which you’re interested. You’ll need to pay extra attention to industry-specific vocabulary because simply speaking a language well isn’t often enough to supply the necessary translation terms.
For instance, you may think about learning terms that are particularly important in the fields of education, business, government, and medicine. There are several methods for doing this.
5. Improve your computer literacy
Many translations need the use of particular software applications. This is done to speed up and improve the translation process. You might wish to familiarise yourself with the following applications that are frequently used by professional translators:
- The Trados Studio
You may get a quick introduction to the features and user interface of the apps on the linked websites. If you want to learn more about the programs firsthand, you can also think about subscribing.
6. Acquire some expertise.
One of the sad ironies of the translation industry, as well as most other professional disciplines, is the requirement for work experience in the field for the majority of positions, which leaves you with the question of how to get that experience in the first place.
You’d be surprised at how easy the solution is. Getting a contract or freelance work is a simple approach to building your resume’s experience section. Your first few jobs might not pay as much as you’d want, but as you get more expertise, you’ll often be able to command more and higher fees for your services.
7. Continue to expand your language skills to advance your profession.
You could wish to learn more languages that you can translate between in order to increase your marketability and broaden your scope of services.
Let’s imagine you speak Chinese really well and are able to translate between the two languages. But what if you were able to expand your selection of services to include Spanish? Spanish and Chinese to English translations are now available.
Various Websites for Online Translation Jobs:
The largest marketplace for language experts is ProZ.com. Here, you may find a little bit of everything. Although there are many services on the platform, including invoicing, forums, and certain courses, the jobs board is what attracts freelance translators.
Surprisingly few translators use LinkedIn, despite the fact that it’s the ideal location for them to obtain customers.
Understanding the Golden Rule—that LinkedIn is not the place to submit your CV and then wait—is the key to using the site effectively. Like a gym membership, it needs your active engagement to function (and all social media).
Three levels of translation prices are offered by TextMaster, a translation company. The highest rate they provide is $0.18, which is for “pro” translators who specialize in translating financial and legal documents, luxury items, and SEO.
You’ll need to utilize their exclusive CAT tool and get validated by them. The income isn’t great if you can’t move up to their “pro” rating, but it’s a decent place to start if you can’t.
4. Bureau Works
Bureau Works provides its clients with full-service localization, from the translation itself to the use of its potent, unique technologies. It frequently employs interpreters.