Tips for Being a Translator - Part II
One important tip for being a successful translator is to make this more than a job. Good translators do more than understand the mechanics of a language. They need to understand the underlying culture behind the language to understand the nuances of that language. Many translators choose to take vacations in countries where people speak their language specialty. This gives them the chance to deepen their understanding while relaxing at the same time. If you want a job where you go to school for a few years, then work 9 to 5, this might not be the right choice for you.
Another important tip for translators is to obtain additional training in areas where clients need translations. Being a general translator will get you clients. However, knowing medical terminology will attract clients that need medical translation. Knowing legal terminology and concepts will attract clients that need legal translation. When you specialize in a specific area of translations, you will likely receive higher rates for your work. It is also a great way to build a steady list of direct clients. Taking classes in a specific area will help you open these opportunities up.
An unexpected tip for translation professionals is being your own advocate. Many people get out of school and expect someone to hire them. However, translation work is an opportunity for you to do your own thing. Many translators work freelance at some point in their career. Some go on to open their own translation agency. A good translator will work on improving their skills and finding opportunities in which to shine. It is completely up to the translator to get the training they need to become better in the business. It is also up to them to decide what work situations are the best options.
An important aspect of being a professional translator is to charge what you are worth. When you first get started, you might want to charge a bit less as your build your experience. However, do not leave your rates too low for too long. You want to provide a quality product and you need paid for the quality you produce. You do not want clients that expect you to have the cheapest rates in town. You want them to come to you because of your quality of work. If they want the cheapest translation possible, they can go to others just starting in the business. Plenty of clients value quality over price.
-By Adriana Tassini
The following Translator Q & A is part of our Translator FAQ Series.Question:Answer: Learn more: