Tuesday, April 24, 2012

6 Translator Career Tips


 A novice translator may be easily discouraged if faced with demanding clients and low-paid time-consuming jobs. However, as a lot of work comes from referrals and positive recommendations, a sure way for a translator to become successful is building a good reputation. Whether you’re new to translation or have been in the business for years, follow these tips to build the reputation you want.

1) Knowledge. Knowing your working languages thoroughly is essential. You should be aware of the differences between your first and second languages to avoid the pitfalls of translation. If you have been brought up in a bilingual environment, you have an advantage of knowing two languages like a native speaker. Modern media provide all the opportunities to listen, watch and read in your working language as much as you wish. It will help you keep up-to-date with the grammar, terminology and even slang of your working languages.

2) Back translation. Translating your text back into the original language without consulting the original text will help you highlight any mistakes or unclear meanings.

3) Second opinion. Even if you are an experienced translator, it might be difficult for you to assess your translation. Try to consult other colleagues or native speakers. The native speakers are best placed to tell how adequate your translation is. All ambiguities in meaning or inappropriate use of vocabulary will disagreeably fall on their ear.

4) Using opportunities. Try to remember the words you looked up in a dictionary at a first try. Using CAT-tools when translating a text with a lot of repetition will save your valuable time.

5)  Self-confidence. Hesitations and fear often cause even more mistakes, so trust your knowledge and skills when translating. At the same time, never take up a job you are not experienced enough to do, as a failure can harm your reputation.

6) Specialization. Choose an area of translation that you enjoy and specialize in. Expertise in a certain area of knowledge (legal, medical, technical language, etc.) will make your translations more accurate and consistent.

Written by Julia Zubkova
Professional Translator and Interpreter
Find out more at http://www.facebook.com/juliaoz
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