Work as a Translator

In the world of internet, Translation is a term used to mean re-writing of content in a different language.

Statistics reveal that in the present day scenario the Translation industry is a booming business and the world wide market is stated to be $15-billion.
Traditionally translation refers to the comprehension of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a "translation," that communicates the same message in another language. The text to be translated is called the source text, and the language that it is to be translated into is called the target language; the final product is sometimes called the target text.

Seems interesting...

Technical Resources
As an absolute minimum, you need to own, or have unlimited access to, the following:

1. A computer
A desktop or a laptop anyone will do. Whether you start on a windows Platform or the Mac or even the LINUX/UNIX depends on you. But I would recommend that the Operating system you use must be able to handle the other application softwares and fonts that you would need for the translation services.

2. An Internet connection
As you start translating, you would realize that gradually the file sizes will get larger and larger. So to send those across you would definitely prefer to have a faster internet connection. You can start from an internet cafe but over the period you would realize that you need to stay online... most of the time. So plan to have an Internet connection at home (if you do not have that yet!).

3. A Word Processor
You will need at least a good word processor that supports multi-language fonts. UNICODE support would be great. Some good applications that you can use include Open Office (on all operating systems) or Microsoft Office Package(on windows). In case you are translating web pages you would also need to have a Web Page Editor - my recommendation Adobe's Dream weaver (not available on UNIX/LINUX).

Other assets that you can think to include:
1. Fax
In case your clients need you to sign documents many a times, you can go for a fax as the Postal Services can be slow and expensive. As an alternate to this, you can enquire if they accept digital versions of signatures and if they do, you can scan the signature and use ie. You will not need a fax then.

2. A mobile phone or a pager:
In case you are on the move during the business hours of your clients (this might happen if you are working for a client who is in a different part of the world), it would be a good idea to have a mobile or pager connection to stay in contact.

3. Dictionaries and reference books
You are going to need loads of these. Depending on your field of work you will need the books. You can also plan to have dictionaries to help you find words in the language that you are translating into. You will need multi-language dictionaries. You can also use the internet to find the dictionaries and the information.

4. A quiet place.
A place where you can concentrate more on the work and get less distracted.

The Soft Skills Required
Apart from the Technical requirements you also need to posses the following soft skills. These skills are essential to continue in this field. If you are looking to join an organization that does the conversion tasks, then these are the only things that you need.

1. The Languages
You need to know at least the source and the target languages if you have to make a mark in this field of conversion. An effective translation requires first class knowledge of both the languages. You should have the knowledge to write and read both the languages as well as thorough understanding of both.

2. Knowledge of the subject which is getting translated
You have to have the knowledge of the subject which you are translating. A better understanding of the subject from both sides (the source language and the target language) would help you become a better translator.

3. Familiarity with both Cultures
If you are familiar with the Cultures in terms of values, traditions, customs, laws and regulations of both the languages, it would help you understand the subject better and also the chances of leaving a mark in the translation world. Your translations would be more genuine and more acceptable by the target language.

4. Patience and Tons of Patience
If you have to be a successful translator you have to understand the first rule is that you have to have a lot of patience. Great translators are not made overnight and it takes a lot of continuous effort on the part of a translator to become great.

How do I Go about It?

1. Get Certified
The first step is to get certified. There are a lot of different places where you can get certified. I am citing two below. You have to get your certification for learning the target language as well as a certification for doing the translation. Some organizations prefer that you have both while some others just need you to have the certification that you are well versed with the languages. So you have to select which languages you want to go with and then based on the requirements you might consider getting certified as a translator.

2. Where To Find Jobs
Best place to search for the Translation jobs is the internet as there are many people who would like to use the services of a translator. I am giving below two links just to have an idea.

3. Who Will Need My Translation Services?
People or businesses that are into content will need your services as a translator. You can be required by the following groups and many more-

a. Web Content Writing
b. Publication houses
c. Writers
d. Advertising Media

Should I be an Employee or an Employer?
It depends on what your plans are. You can start off as an employee and then when you have some exposure you can jump into the business. In case you want to get into the business straight away you would need some sources from where you can get work on a regular basis. Apart from that you would also be required to hire professionals who would translate for you. The organizations listed above can help you in finding both.


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