Being a professional translator can be an exciting and rewarding career choice. With the potential to work across a variety of different areas or specialise in a particular field, you can choose what sectors you want to operate in from the get-go.
However, there are some things you’ll need to consider before you can start earning money for your translation services. If you’re exploring the possibility of becoming a professional translator, be sure to consider the following.
1. How Many Languages Can You Speak?
Being bilingual is essential for a translator, but being multilingual can be advantageous. If you can speak more than two languages, you will have even more choice when it comes to career options. With greater demand for your skills, you’ll also find that you can command a higher wage and cultivate a regular and loyal customer base.
2. How Fluent Are You?
Mastering any foreign language can be tricky, but your fluency really needs to be top-notch if you want to pursue translation as a career choice. Fortunately, there are a variety of language courses which can help you to hone your skills.
For many budding translators, the cost of perfecting their language skills is a necessary part of career development. With plenty of funding options available, you can seek out business loans, scholarship grants, or even consider taking out a loan. If you have a poor credit history, there’s no need to panic. With long and short-term loans for people with bad credit from companies like BingoLoans, your financial past needn’t prevent you from moving forward in your dream career.
3. Are Your Writing Skills up to Scratch?
Learning to read and write in another language can be very different from learning to speak it. If you want to take on work preparing and translating documents, you’ll need to ensure that you can read and write in a second language, as well as speaking it fluently.
As many documents that need to be translated are technical, legal or business-related, it’s important that your reading and writing skills are up to scratch if you want to impress your clients and your employer.
4. What Type of Environment Do You Want to Work In?
Becoming a professional translator gives you access to a varied selection of working environments. From full-time roles in established teams to working remotely as an independent contractor, you can build a career that suits you. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of working in-house and as a freelancer before you make a decision. By assessing the options objectively, you’ll ensure you choose a setup that meets your needs and your working style.
Launching Your Translation Career
Whenever you enter a new industry, it can take some time to build up a database of contacts. Networking is an important way of meeting people within the sector, so be sure to attend industry events and liaise with future colleagues and clients. Once you have a proven track record and people are familiar with your skillset and specialities, you’ll find it easy to attract clients and secure job offers.