How to become a successful translator


Becoming a successful translator requires a lot of patience, skill and practice. It is a field on the rise, providing many opportunities to work with different types of people and to learn new things. It is an essential service that you will be providing; you will be helping people communicate better with each other. Below are some steps you can follow to become a successful translator.

  1. Learn another language and become fluent in it. Learn how to have a conversation and learn the meanings of several words in the language. In addition, brush up on your own language to understand it more and know how foreigners view it.
  2. It is one thing to learn a language and it is another thing to know how to write it. To be a successful translator it is beneficial to learn how to write the language into which you are translating.
  3. Apart from learning a new language, it will also be a good idea for you to enroll for translation and interpreting classes as this will go a long way to help you understand factors such as culture, context and audience when translating.
  4. This may be a bit difficult, especially as it may require some measure of finance and time, but to get a proper grasp of the language you are learning you may want to travel to a country where it is an official language. Ensure you spend time with the locals and not visitors or foreigners like yourself.
  5. While not mandatory, it will still be advantageous for you to become certified, as this will make it much easier for you to find employment. Most employers believe people who are certified have the required expertise and skills to move their organization forward.
  6. To further boost your profile you can take language proficiency tests to show potential employers and clients that you are truly proficient in your chosen language. This also gives them the opportunity to rate your skills and see for themselves that you are right for the job.
  7. When it comes time to job hunt, you can do this by registering on various websites and getting freelance jobs, which could be what you need to kickstart your career. Some of these sites may require a registration fee while others may not.
  8. You can also find a paid or unpaid internship, which will provide you with another opportunity to build up the required experience you need to forge ahead in your career. At the end of the program if you prove yourself you may find yourself with a full time position.
  9. Considering that most translators are freelancers, you will have to market yourself well by choosing a subject-matter niche that you know very well, as this will make it easier for you to get jobs.
  10. Do some research and acquire for yourself a copy of the right software to benefit your specific workflow. Also, ensure you are translating from your target language into your native language and not the other way around; not only will this be easier, but it also happens to be the standard industry-wide procedure. This way, should you come across an unfamiliar word when working on a job, it will be easier to research it in your native language to be sure you’ve chosen the right term.
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