How to become a translator

Check the original text in Italian here

  1. Learn at least one, preferably two foreign languages! If you still don’t speak fluently this language, learn it. To have some idea of the level that you reached in one language, you should find yourself in front of a word that is not so common in your mother tongue and feel comfortable using it. But suceeding in a foreign language is not enough. Make sure you are practicing in this language by reading, watching movies and television, listening to music, making friends in this other language, traveling, etc.

  2.  Practice in your mother tongue. The good thing about translators working with their own language is that this is the language from which they express themselfs better. Because of this, you should commit yourself to read write and speak the more you can – feel comfortble with your own language.

  3.   Try to obtain a qualification. Do a graduation in a foreign language, in translation and interpretation, linguistic and culture, foreign litterature, or linguistic science, and pass all the tests that you want, depending where you want to work, as the EPSO exam, for example, if you decide to work in the European Union.

  4. Practice and get experience. All the universities (or almost all of them) include in their curriculum a mandatory training. If in your university they don’t have one, find nother solution. Do an internship with a translation organization or company or try to ask one of your translator teachers if you can work with him/her during your studies.

  5. Define what is your main objective. Decide what you want to do. Do you want to translate books? Do you want to translate for a big organisation? Do you have your own bussiness? Make a decision.

  6. Get fast inside the work world once you finish your studies. This depends on what kind of translations you want to do. If you want to translte books, put yourself in contact with a publishing company. If you want to translte for an organisation, find one and contact them. It could be a good idea to do a internship in his organisationbefore graduating, because you can show your skills and turn out to be hired. If you want to start an activity by yourself, well, then you need to find clients.

  7. Try to be professional. Try to be fast, give a fair price for your translations and maintain a high quality in your work.  And more, professionals do not accept work that they are not prepared to do and they don not take too many works at the same time. Also, nobody wants to work with someone that does not respect deadlines.

Advices:

  • Speak and read in the chosen languagem the more you can.

  • As an exercise translate an article of Wikipedia.

  • Translate one WikiHow article in other language. This is very helpfull not just for you, but also for others WikiHow readers.

  • There are plenty TV channels in French, Spanish, Chinese, English, etc. Search for them and try to translate the program while you are watching it. In order to practice better, wite down your translation.

  • Pay attention to slangs, way of speakiing and cultural differences of this language If you study French, for exemplo,  don’t use all you time just in France, take into consideration the dialects and culture of Quebec, Belgium, Switzerland, Algeria, etc.

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