Careers in Document Translation
Many people all over the world need important documents translated into other languages. Birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates, wills, and more can be keys to unlocking family history. Business documents can make or break companies and corporations. Marketing and advertising can open up new streams of revenue when translated well. Document translation as a career option is growing as more and more people are expanding their influence globally. Less expensive and quicker travel options, the wide availability of the internet, and constant communication devices are adding together to a sum of internationally connected people, businesses, governments, and more.
Translators serve a valuable purpose in these relationships. They connect the native speakers of one language to another through the written word. Translators technically deal with written language while interpreters work in spoken format. Choosing document translation as a career should be researched carefully. The main reason is that it is important to choose a specialization. Language is highly specific and often technical to the documents that need translating. For instance, medical translators will need to know a completely different vocabulary set than judiciary translators do. Clients are looking for people who understand not only the source and target languages but also their particular industry so there are no mistakes in the translation.
Colloquialisms and cultural references will not translate directly to another culture so translators have to understand the intent of the reference and be able to make appropriate substitutions that convey the same thing. To this end, knowledge of the cultures of the source and target audiences is important. Translators must also be good professional writers, perfecting grammar and style in at least two languages. Becoming successful at document translation as a career depends upon communication, linguistic, and cultural knowledge, but it also rests on the ability of the translators to motivate and manage themselves.
By and large, document translation as a career is done as freelance work. Because of this, translators have to have the ability to set and meet deadlines. They must be able to judge how much work they can complete with quality and efficiency. They must understand how to manage translation projects. In addition, translators need to be great at finding clients, selling themselves, winning contracts, and turning initial customers into loyal clients. Translators must have high ethical standards and be aware of the ethics issues specific to the translation industry. Knowing the best practices of the industry will also help translators to provide the best service to their clients, thereby building a good reputation for a life-long career.
-By Adriana Tassini
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