As all of Tomedes’ professional human translators know, working in the translation industry is a fulfilling and rewarding career choice that allows talented individuals to use their linguistic skills to the full. But for those just considering translation as a career, it can be hard to know where to begin. So here are Tomedes’ suggestions on getting started, to help you build the translation career of your dreams.
The first thing to consider is whether translation services or interpretation services appeal most. Broadly speaking, translation services refer to working with written material, while interpreters translate spoken language. The notable exception is audio translation, which is generally incorporated within the definition of written translation services, with the audio being transcribed prior to translation.
Would-be professional translators of course need to start by becoming fluent in two or more languages. Gaining a recognised qualification in one or more of these languages is a good idea, though not essential, as many translation companies are happy to judge potential translators on their capabilities rather than their qualifications.
Building up experience is the next key step. This can be done through applying for translation jobs in a freelance capacity or approaching a professional translation company for work. Applying as an intern is an effective way to get a foot in the door when it comes to translation companies – although the work is unpaid, it does help the would-be translator to begin building up their experience and professional resumé.
Once a few initial jobs have been undertaken to gain experience of the translation sector and decide on whether or not a career in it genuinely appeals, it is time to think seriously about the future. Those wishing to pursue a fulltime career as a translator should do their homework in terms of setting their rates, the kind of work available to them, the hours they wish to work and so forth. After that, all that remains is to forge ahead on this rewarding new career path!
How did you become a professional translator? Share your key tips and advice via the comments box.