If you have a natural love of linguistics and language, a career as a translator could be a great move for you. Translation is in high demand with increasing globalization and the need for connecting cultures across international boundaries.
So if you want to be a translator, here’s what you need in terms of qualifications and the potential types of translation career paths you can have.
Qualifications to Become a Translator
Becoming a translator is not easy. In order to be a translator you need to be able to understand your own language and another language on a deep level. Most translators have qualifications.
They don’t simply wake up one day and decide to be a translator. They’re used to constantly researching and compiling information and applying their linguistic skill in order to translate it from one language to another.
So therefore most translators are fluent at a native level in at least two different languages and then after that translators typically go on to get a degree or take translation certification courses.
Five Types Of Careers As A Translator
Translators can go on to have several types of careers. Here are five different jobs that a translator can enjoy.
1. Medical Interpreter
Medical interpreters work in healthcare settings. They help doctors and patients communicate back and forth. This is a very specialized type of work and it takes someone who really loves to help people with medical terminology in terms of translation and even interpretation.
As a medical translator, it’s very important that you know medical conditions, side effects, and vocabulary. The last thing you want is for someone’s health to be in jeopardy because you didn’t do your job.
2. Literary Translator
Do you love reading books, poetry, or other fiction? If you do, then being a literary translator can be one of the most satisfying jobs you can have.
A literary translator has to capture not just words, but also an author’s tone, meaning, and intention behind the work. If you want to get paid to read literature in both your first language and your target language, then this might be the role for you.
3. Legal Interpreter
Everyone deserves the right to legal counsel. However, due to language barriers, some people may not have access to a lawyer or a courtroom in which the judge speaks their language.
Therefore, as a legal interpreter, you can help your client communicate with their attorney as well as the court. This is an important role that can help ensure justice for everyone no matter what their language is.
4. Business Conference Interpreter
This is one of the more unique careers in translation. Seminars, business conferences, and even web lectures all need interpreters to help their non-English speakers understand the content. These days, a business can have clients all over the world, so it’s no guarantee that they’ll speak the same language.
That’s where you come in as a conference interpreter. You take the content that the speaker is saying and interpret it. In other words, translate it in spoken word into the other language, the target language, in real time. By doing this, you’re helping people gain access to incredible business information while helping your client increase their revenue.
Localization is one of the most important types of interpretation or translation services. Governments, community organizations, and others need a way to translate their content to English and other languages.
If you’re able to help them take their material and localize it, in other words, translate it to another language, then you can make sure that a small business in Thailand, for instance, can bring in clients from Canada.
Or perhaps a small country in the Caribbean can negotiate with European countries about imports and exports. Localization can apply to any kind of business, personal, or government context. But at the end of the day, you’re providing a very important service by connecting two parties who can benefit from you bringing them together.
Wrapping It Up
At the end of the day, the potential careers for translators and interpreters are endless. But no matter which path you choose, a career in translation requires the right education and training. That way you can start off on the right foot and avoid many of the pitfalls that a lot of beginner translators have to suffer through before they start to find success.