Monday, March 19, 2018

Difficulties Professional Translators Face at the Start of their Careers by Jeff Blaylock

Have you just graduated university? Congratulations! Translation requires a profound understanding of at least two languages as well as language skills. Before you start writing your CV, take the time to sit down and think about the challenges that lie ahead. So what should you be thinking about?

Specialization


When you start your translation career, you should have a specialization in mind. Think about the types of texts you enjoy translating. In order to specialize, you're going to need to be an expert in the field, have a profound knowledge of the terminology, and be familiar with all the writing conventions of your specialization. Common specializations include medical, legal, and academic translation.

Setting Your Rates


New translators often find setting their rates difficult. You should check the average prices for your language pairs and for translators where you are. A translator's rates will vary depending on their speed, experience, and expertise. Make sure that your price is fair, reflecting your translation skills.

Given that new translators will have little to no experience, it's understandable that their rates will be lower than their experienced counterparts. However, make sure you're not working for peanuts since this will have a negative effect on your self-esteem and on how potential clients see you.


Investing in Knowledge


Young and ambitious translators often make the mistake of thinking that once they've got their degree, they know everything they need to know about translation. However, after several years in the industry, you'll see just how little you knew.

Many new translators end up having to make several concessions. Firstly, it'll be difficult to command the same salary as other translators who've been in the industry for a while. To circumvent this problem, you should invest your time gaining new translation skills. By improving your skill set, you'll find it easier offsetting any lack of experience.

Since you'll probably have more free time when looking for your first projects, you'll have a lot of time for personal development.

Using Technology


Time is money. If you want to work more effectively, you should use modern technology to help you translate more quickly. While older translators might be averse to using modern technology, younger translators probably already have a good understanding of the latest technology.

When it comes to translation, both speed and quality are hugely important and clients almost always ask for both. Using CAT tools can help you translate more quickly but you can also use technology to watch webinars and complete digital training programs.


Enjoying Translation


You should enjoy your work. Of course, there'll be hard times when you're only thinking about your paycheck, you'll doubt that you made the right decision, and you'll start thinking you've chosen the wrong career. Translation is tough and it can be so mentally draining that you can start feeling trained after spending just five hours translating. Make sure you rest as much as possible.

Make sure that you keep developing your translation skills at time like these. They'll come in handy when things get difficult.

Jeff Blaylock is a freelance writer and translator who's worked for customwriting.com for five years. He's a passionate traveler who loves nature. He loves spending time in libraries and learning new things.