Getting Started: Five Easy Steps When Starting as a Translator

Ever been one to know what you need to do in life, but don’t know how to take it for all it’s worth? Ever have that happen with translation or interpreter jobs? If so, then here’s a list of five ways to make yourself successful as a translator. If there is something I’ve missed, or something you’d like more information on, don’t hesitate to comment!

1. Get Certified
Anyone can be a translator, but not everyone can be good at it. For this very reason, clients may be wary on who they choose, and need something to justify a particular translator to them. How do you gain justification? By gaining a degree in translation or certificate. Obviously, the better your degree, the more clients will be inclined to choose you as their service provider. But even having some certification keeps you steps ahead from others. If you’re not interested in a lengthy degree, than gain certification from the American Translator’s Association. The certification only costs $300, compared to $1000’s when gaining a bachelors or higher degree.

If this interests you, learn more at the ATA website:

2. Gain Experience
As with any job, experience is needed to gain more impressive clients. For the first of your career, it may be wise to expect translation as a part time job, with little to no money. Of course, this isn’t going to be true for everyone, it’s good to remain realistic for the bad times.

Experience can be made anywhere, from freelance work or internships. Internships are easy to come by when gaining a degree in translation, and can be found on any campus or campus website.

3. Marketing 
This is the most important thing. Without anyone knowing you or your set of skills, what’s the point in gaining the degree? This also can be said about when gaining experience, but with experience comes marketing. Others will hear about you through wherever you’re working, or when you’re searching for work.

Online marketing should be done at large translation websites, like Proz. By setting a presence here, it’s easier to connect and network.

4. Learn more
Learning more gives you the convenience to new sets of words and thoughts that may not have been available to you. Language constantly changes. Are you sure you’re staying up to date with the latest jokes? There’s always more to learn in translation.

Plus, by learning more you’re able to learn more about other industries that involve interpreting and translating that may be better suited for your needs rather than the current work you are doing, or would do. 

5. Stay positive!
Without hope, you can’t work. If things aren’t looking up, take a step back and reassess your situation. Is this something that you really want to do? Are you looking through every possible resource made available for you? Networking and marketing are two of your best bets to succeed in being a translator. Make sure you are using your opportunities appropriately. 


4 thoughts on “Getting Started: Five Easy Steps When Starting as a Translator”

  1. In the “Get Certified” section, there is no mention that only a tiny fraction of the people who take the ATA certification exam can pass it, even including very experienced, seasoned translators who are generally acknowledged as excellent. For that reason, the best bet for the inexperienced translator is to take courses toward certification at some university or other educational facility. However, there is no certification at all for most languages, so that may not be an option for many.

    Liked by 1 person

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