What sort of experience is needed for some of the more common translation positions?
For every job, there’s always the same catch 22, and that is that it’s always easier to get experience once you’ve got experience. So that makes starting out challenging. My advice would be to get that first experience (more on that in a second) in any way possible that’s safe and legal—and that includes pro bono work and internships (more on that below as well). Okay, so what kind of experience might a translation professional normally need to get a standard position? Translating or interpreting—whichever is your specialty. For example, if you’re going into literary translation, having already published some translations wouldn’t hurt. So how do you get that? It’s hard, but not as hard as it seems: there are often specialty multilingual magazines, e-zines, and journals that need articles translated for pennies. And NGOs and charities often need help with translations as well. What if you can’t get any work or pro bono opportunities? Then the next best thing is to do some sample translations targeted for your desired industry or for the type of work that the agency you’re looking to work for does. Or perhaps you can put a notice up and/or a little ad in the flyer for your church or synagogue, offering to help your neighbors and parishioners? Be creative, and don’t get caught by that catch22.
-By Adriana Tassini
The following Translator Q & A is part of our Translator FAQ Series.Question:Answer: Learn more: