What are the first steps I should take while preparing to enter the translation industry?
It depends on where you are in your current career and training, and what your current skills are. Let’s say you’ve been in school, and have just gotten a degree in a foreign language. You need to get practice translating, as opposed to speaking or reading. It’s a different skill set. Or let’s say you’ve decided you want to be a health services interpreter. You need to evaluate your skill set, and then look to see if there are any certifications available to you in your area. In general, you should start out by seeing what the market looks like, what your knowledge and skills are, and what you want to do. Then you should fill in any obvious or gaping gaps in your abilities and get whatever certification seems appropriate. See if you can get any pro bono work or recommendations by others in the industry. Go to translators’ forums, and see if you can answer some terminology questions to help someone else out, in order to show your skills to those in the business.
-By Adriana Tassini
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