How to Begin Working as a Professional Translator

How to Begin Working as a Professional Translator

Professional translators are needed in many walks of the business and entertainment industries in this day and age. With the right steps and preparation, a successful career in translating can be attained by those aspiring to use their language skills and preparation in such a fashion. Being a bilingual or trilingual speaker is definitely a plus when pursuing a translating career. Fluency is the number one skill necessary for working as a professional translator. Fluency in a particular language means that the person can speak the language, understand others speak it, read and write said language, all at the level of a native speaker.

There are several basic steps a person seeking to begin working as a professional translator should take in order increase the chances that they will be successful at securing a good position.
Get certified- a lot of colleges and universities offer certificate programs as well as advanced degree programs in the field of translation. By determining the desired path for the translation career, students can find the best certification or degree program that will get them where they want to go to begin working as a professional translator. Join professional organizations that are known for their lists and referrals of reputable and competent translators. This will add weight to the resume as well as establish contacts and open doors to professional translator positions.

Take tests- apply for and take noted language proficiency tests that will clearly show fluency and skill in the languages that have been chosen to work with.
Gain experience- take on small jobs, entry level positions and internships where possible in order to gain experience in the field of translation. As with most things in life, there is no substitute for hands on experience.

Keep learning- research specializations and possibly choose one to focus on in the world of translation. It is a good idea to stay on top of the changing trends and climates in the field, continuing to learn and grow makes a translator much more marketable and therefore brings more success.

Interpreters are not the exact same thing as translators in general, although sometimes the terms may be used interchangeably in some cases. Translators typically focus on the written word, translating documents, books and web pages, while interpreters are those who work with the spoken communications. Beginning work as a professional translator takes time and effort to get things underway but is a successful field for the right person.

-By Adriana Tassini

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