It seems that many people who apply for jobs with translation companies get turned down because they are not qualified to be either a translator or an interpreter. Considering oneself as bi-lingual is a good skill and fluency in a second language means the ability to speak, comprehend, write and read in that language at an equal level to a native educated speaker. However, being fluent is only the 1st step in reaching the goal as a professional interpreter or certified translation professional. Like all professions, training, practice and experience is required which means there is no single pathway to success.
If you are eager to become a sought after certified translation professional there are a number of things you can do which are outlined below.
The first step to take is to achieve some sort of certification or accreditation. Having these credentials provides the documents that prove you have the necessary skills to translate professionally. There are many universities which offer both advanced degrees as well as professional certificate courses in translation. The highly respected American Translator’s Association provides certification courses for translators.
If your interest lies in the legal or medical translation fields organizations like the International Medical Interpreters Association and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators offer certificate standard courses as well. Some U.S. states offer accreditation courses for both translators and interpreters.
Getting a certificate in this way can be of a great help to you as their website directories will include you on their listings. This is the place where likely clients seek the services of translators. You may find you don’t gain a lot from getting a certificate as you consider yourself fluent in a second language, but if this is the career you want getting certified puts you ahead of others.
Pass a translator test
Another great way to market yourself as a certified translation professional is to sit a language proficiency test like the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT). This shows off your fluency and is attractive to clients.
The next stage is to get experience. Most careerists often begin in an entry-level job as they start their way up the ladder. If you live close to a college, take some classes in translation and be on the lookout for chances to undertake translation work on the campus for different departments. This is a good way to get a portfolio of examples of successful translation work that you can showcase to potential clients.
After getting your certified translation professional certification and some translation experience, you can start to market your skills to hospitals, law firms, language agencies, government agencies, police stations and hospitals. Most translators end up working for clients based on a contractual relationship and not as a full time employee. A good way to start to market your translation services is to set up a blog or website and join in the online community of language professionals. You should have all your credentials as a certified translation professional ready to send to interested clients and make sure you make clear what your rates are.
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