Translator Careers in Europe and the United States - Preparing for a Career in Translation
Translation careers are growing in popularity all around the world. As globalization increases, businesses, organizations, and individuals are all in the market for quality translators who understand not only the languages involved but also cultural references and industry processes and vocabulary. Specialized niche translator careers in Europe and the United States are waiting for multilingual people who want a job that is flexible and self-directed. Most translators work from home in a freelance capacity. They set their own prices and deadlines. There are few to no restrictions and regulations in the industry, and preparation once language fluency is achieved is minimal.
This may seem like a dream job, and it can be, but there are some things to keep in mind. Very specific skills sets are necessary for translator careers in Europe and the United States. The first and most obvious of these skill sets is absolute fluency in at least two languages. Note: To be a translator for the United Nations, you must be fluent in at least three of the official languages. When translating, the translator needs to have a good understanding of the source material and its language as well as excellent language and writing skills in the target language. In addition, translators need knowledge of the two cultures. This is important because phrases can contain colloquialisms and cultural references that do not directly translate. Translators need the ability to understand these phrases and convey the same meaning to the target audience.
The second set of skills necessary for translator careers in Europe and the United States is the understanding of the industry being translated for, including their processes and terminology. Most documents needing translation are very specific and include technical language. For this reason, translators usually specialize in a niche industry, such as medical, literary, instruction, repair, judiciary, and more. Because an understanding of the subject matter can help translators avoid mistakes in translation, clients look for someone who focuses on their translation needs and has experience in the field.
Finally, translators need to know how to do the business of a translation expert. This skill set includes ethics issues that are specific to the translation industry. Learning the best practices of the industry can help a beginning translator advance his or her career. Communication skills are essential to the translation business. Translators are professional writers that are multilingual, and they should have the grammar and style skills of that level. Time and project management is also important to successful translator careers in Europe and the United States.
-By Adriana Tassini
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