Monday, November 22, 2021

Tips On How To Start a Career In Translation by Angelo Castelda

Becoming a language professional is a good career choice because language is universal. Everyone uses language every day of their lives, which means there are always careers in language. One viable career in this field is translation, which is very popular.

Translation professionals can work in-house or freelance in both the public and private sectors. They are trained to translate one language into another professionally. Typically, translators work with written languages while interpreters work with spoken languages, although both jobs involve working between at least two languages.

Speaking more than one language will get you one step closer to being a professional translator. However, there are different routes you can take with this job. Here are some useful tips to help you get started.

Hone your skills in your source language

Your target language is your native language; the one you’ve been speaking since birth. So the first thing you should do is to study and train in your source language extensively.

If your target language is a common one, then you’re likely to find more translation jobs. However, with a common language, expect more competition from other translators.

For example, professional English to Filipino language translation in the Philippines is common because English is their second language. That’s why translators have to study and train to be better than their peers to land more jobs.

Getting advanced degrees in your source language will also set you apart from your peers. You can choose to study in a school or earn a degree from an online university and then take language exams to measure your fluency.

Consider specializing in an industry

You can work in different industries as a translator. Specializing in one will help you to work in specific sectors. You have to know the jargon and terminology to work in specific fields.

You can look for a tutor or online learning resources to help you specialise. For example, you could study Spanish medical terms to learn how to translate them into your target language.

Get accredited or certified

Much like language teachers, translators can also get certified or accredited. Being certified by a credible certification provider in language translation will boost your chances of landing a job in both the public and private sectors.

If you plan to work in an industry, there are also industry-specific certifications you can get offered to interpreters. Although it’s not for translators, getting an industry-specific certification for interpreters still shows you know and can translate language in a specific field. Thus, it’ll still help in landing you a job.

Learn translation-related computer skills

Many translation jobs require a good knowledge of computer programs. Computer programs can help translators to work faster and more efficiently. You will find many job opportunities that require knowledge of those programs, so learn how to use them.

Some language translation programs commonly required by agencies include:

  • memoQ
  • SDL Trados Studio
  • Memsource
  • Wordfast

Some translation software is free, while others are available with one-off payments or paid subscriptions. These tools help improve translation in different ways and can help with spelling and grammar corrections and analyzing points where text has been mistranslated.

Gain experience

The sad reality is that you need experience to land a job also applies to becoming a professional translator. Before you begin searching and applying for job openings, you should first gain experience.

You can do so by working as a freelance translator. This is a good way to gain experience that you can add to your resume. Once you get contracted for more freelance work, you’ll gain more experience and be able to earn more.

You may get your first translation gig from an acquaintance or business connection and many companies accept freelance translators for online work.

Let's Round-Up

There are various options for linguists looking to work as translators. But before you apply for any job, you have to do your due diligence. Make sure that you're a translator that companies will seek to hire.

Angelo Castelda is a freelance writer from Asia. Besides writing, he also spends his time traveling and learning about diverse cultures and languages, which opened his heart more to learning and imparting knowledge about language translation.

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