Tips for Being a Translator - Part IOne important aspect of becoming a successful translator is to become a master of your own language as well as your chosen one. Many people think that speaking in two languages is enough to be a translator. But, it is not. Think about it. Your clients want a document translated into your native tongue. They will use your translation for some other purpose. It might be a business proposal. It might be a medical paper. It might be a scientific analysis. They do not need a translation that doesn't sound or look good. You need to be as much a professional writer as a master of a foreign language.
If you want to become a professional translator, then you need to become part of your industry. Find professional groups of translators in your area and get to know them. This will give you a place to learn and a place to share. Another translator will understand common problems a lot better than even your spouse will. You can also get information on the latest trends in the business. It also gives you a place to network and build a list of potential references. Being part of your industry means being a contributor, not a by-stander.
Another important aspect of being a translator is that you should never stop learning. In order to advance in your chosen field, you need to further your translation education. This means attending workshops and classes when you have a chance. You will get an opportunity to learn from other professionals and it will help you deepen your professional knowledge of the field. These classes are another opportunity to meet and greet fellow translators. This gives you a network of people that you can turn to when something is not going well or you need help with a tricky translation.
One aspect of being a successful translator is to have a life outside of your work. Translation can take over your life if you let it. You may be reading books in your chosen language. You might take on too many clients and work too many hours. However, in order to keep your passion for translation fresh, you need to have other outlets in life. Have a band of friends that do not speak foreign languages. Go out to dinner with your spouse to a local pizza joint. It will let you your mind rest from the translation world.
-By Adriana Tassini
The following Translator Q & A is part of our Translator FAQ Series.Question:Answer: Learn more: