7 steps that is required to become a professional translator. If you are thinking of becoming one or just curious of the profession here, they are:
Step 1: Acquire an education
Of course, you need to know at least 2 languages, but also must take translation studies. If you are still in high school you can take additional courses on writing and comprehension, maybe learning another foreign language to become bilingual and have variety in job market. These days translators are also professionals in other fields like the arts, legal, finance and other. They combine their field and language to become the experts in the field.
Step 2: Apply for and pass certification program
After you pass the step number one you need to have some advantage in the market. It is perfect to get certificate to be able to proof your knowledge and skills, it shows that you are a real professional. If you want to become specialist in legal translation you need to get a certificate by the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. Once you are certified your name will be listed in that organization’s directory. In the United States this is not a strict criteria to become translator.
Step 3: Pass language proficiency test
Organizations, schools, universities or firms offer language proficiency tests. They are going to boost your resume and provide your clients with the proof that you know what you are doing. Not to mention it also cements your confidence.
Step 4: Acquire job experience
Experience is the most important thing for the professional and the newbie. It shows that you know not just how to deal with technical part but also to meet the deadlines and work with real clients. To gain that you will have to start from the beginning, usually from the intern unpaid position. After that you will be able to look for entry level positions.
Step 5: Learn to market yourself
This is very crucial skill to have if you want to freelance and work for yourself or even working in a firm. You can create a blog and write about translations, join an online group and be active this will help you build a network and get clients. Be prepared with a resume and competitive rates for different types of translations.
Step 6: Never stop learning
Just translating and working eight or more hours per day won’t make you learn anything new or gain a new skill which can help you move forward. Stay updated with the trends and rates, with industry news and maybe study for a new certificate. There is also a space to grow.
Step 7: Improve your knowledge of the subject
If you decided to become professional translator in one specific field it is very critical always improve your knowledge on the subject. Keep updated on developments, regulations, laws and trends. Terminology changes over time and you can not miss that because it can ruin all you career in translating. With this your research skills must be superb.