For many translators, it’s a passion for words that pushes them toward a translation career. But does passion and the ability to speak a couple of languages means you will become a successful translator? What other skills do you need?
There are a few things that are definite prerequisites for becoming a translator. Being multilingual is obviously one of them. Maybe you gained this skill from growing up knowing another language or learned a language in school, at a university or from experience overseas. One thing all translators have in common is a love of language and learning.
If you enjoy communicating, reading and teaching, you are partway there. It also helps if you enjoy words and have a great grasp of grammar. Finding the right way to express yourself in the target text is as important as understanding the source text.
Ideally, translators should be equally proficient in the source language and target language. The target language (the finished product) must have a similar style to the source product, and flow as if the document originally was written in that language.
Being fluent in a language does not mean you will necessarily become a good translator. Most translators will have lived in a country that speaks the source language, and have native skills in the target language.
I’ve compiled my top eight tips for those looking to become a successful translator. These tips will not guarantee that you get into the industry immediately, but they should help you avoid mistakes and speed up this process.
Follow these tips and you will save time and money while working to become a professional translator.