Being a Translator

A translator is a professional who translates from one language to another. The profession involves the translation of documents and conversations from a source language to the target language. Most translators specialise in specific languages to enhance their accuracy and efficiency. How do you become a translator? Which languages are popular for translation jobs and which one can you specialise in?

Becoming a translator

The first step is to have excellent knowledge and understanding of at least two languages. Remember that you must be fluent both in reading and writing the two languages in order to qualify as a translator. The higher the number of languages you understand, the more marketable you are in this field. The second step is to take up a translation course in a local college or university or independent schools. Nowadays, you can even take the course online. The course will help you in understanding how to go about the translation to avoid loss of the intended meaning or context.

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The third step is to become a certified translator. Getting certified increases your credibility and clients are more willing to trust you. Look up the translators' association in your state and get your skills tested and certified. The associations usually maintain updated lists of members from where potential clients can confirm your skills and accreditation. Remember that although you can still secure jobs without accreditation and certification, it is best practice to get accredited as this allows for faster career growth.

Experienced translators are preferred for long term contracts. The fourth step is to build your experience and client base. Take up as many short term jobs as you can and ensure that you do it well. High performance and quality work will generate referral business. This is a great way to position yourself as an expert in the market. Remember to market you skills on social media, search engines and to your friends and relatives. Marketing ensures that you have a continuous funnel of potential clients. Ensure that your knowledge and skills are up to date through tracking of market trends. You can also improve your skills through taking short courses on translation offered by independent schools or colleges.

Popular languages

English is used as national languages in majority of the nations in the world. It is therefore essential for all translators to understand English well. In most cases, you will be required to translate documents or conversation either from English to French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, Canadian and Portuguese and vice versa. You don't have to know all these languages since you can choose two or three that you should specialise in.

Choosing the languages to specialise in

A detailed study of the market will reveal the most sought after languages in your city. However, in this digital era, it is possible to work for clients from different cities given the high level of connectivity. You can therefore choose the languages that you are most proficient in and specialise in them. Passion is very important in the choice of the languages you would specialise in since it enhances your level of involvement and the need to perform well. When you are passionate about a language, you will keep on learning and improving your skills which will ultimately reflects in your work.