What Do I Need to Major in to Be a Translator?
The first thing a person should know about becoming a translator is that they should be fluent in two languages. They should be fluent in their own native language, along with the language of another culture. From the time a person is born they start learning the native language of their culture, and in some cases two languages are spoken. This makes it easier for a person to master a second language because they learn to use it for communication at an early age. For those that are not taught a second language early in life, they have to take it upon themselves to learn.
A person can start learning a second language by taking classes in school or socializing with the culture of their choice language. A couple of years in school may not be enough to make a person fluent though so they should also choose to major in the chosen language in college. It would also be a good idea to participate in exchange programs and study a few semesters in the country the language is spoken in: Mexico, France, Portugal, etc. While there a person should learn as much as they can about the culture by interacting with them on a continual basis.
Different cultures speak in different dialects so a study of linguistics would be a good idea as well. Whether you major in the language or in linguistics a Bachelor's degree would be very beneficial. A person may also choose to participate in some training and certification translator programs that can provide the student with specialized training. When deciding to become a translator a person should consider learning a second language that is frequently translated such as Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.
Back to the question, what do I need to major in to be a translator? A Bachelor's Degree in the target language, French, Spanish, German, etc., or a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, either of these would be beneficial. A person should consider taking specialized courses that will certify them in translation. The main points to being a translator are: Being fluent in at least two languages, have good communication skills and good understanding of both languages both written and spoken. Have good linguistic ability and a strong willingness to learn as much about another culture as possible. They should also have strong business skills because many translators work on a freelance basis.
-By Adriana Tassini
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