How to choose a professional career? This is probably one of the most difficult questions to answer and the most important for a person’s future. Although there are men and women who have a very marked vocation from adolescence, or even from childhood, most of the population faces these questions when they finish high school: what now?
As fans of languages and the different cultures of the world, in the Worldly Translations team we always had a pronounced inclination to study a career related to the exciting universe of languages. However, not all of us have the necessary information about the options available around our professional development. Fortunately, with little or a lot of information about it, we chose to become professional translators.
Today, remembering that crucial moment, we believe that it is important to share with those who are thinking about embarking on this career some advice that would have been very useful to us back then. Therefore, we share 5 things you need to know if you are thinking of becoming a professional translator:
We are invisible doers
The work of a professional translator is so important that it enables texts originally written in a language to circulate around the world, crossing all existing linguistic and cultural borders.
However, the more imperceptible our passage through a text, the better the final result will be. We are invisible doers because we make it possible to understand information, ideas and emotions without interfering with the content. Thus, our work will be more valued and better considered the more faithful to the meaning, style and imprint of the author of the original text.
Therefore, every professional translator must put their ego aside and understand that although our work is extremely important for the dissemination of content, it is usually kept “in the shadows”.
The choice of any professional career requires certain personal predispositions that will make us more or less apt to dedicate ourselves to it. In the case of the translation career, there are two particular characteristics that every professional translator must have: concentration and detail.
Thus, a very restless person, with difficulties to stay for a long time in front of the computer and to concentrate on the understanding of a text, can hardly dedicate to this profession.
In addition, for every professional translator, it is the details that make the difference. Why? Simply because an error in the translation will lead to an incorrect interpretation by the readers or listeners of the translated text. An error whose final impact will have more or less relevance according to the content that is being disclosed.
For us, being a professional translator is a way of life. Our learning is continuous and never stops, since every good translator is first and foremost a curious person, a genuine researcher.
The different translation services that we carry out (personal, literary, legal, academic and marketing documents, among others) have their own glossary of words, meanings and expressions that we must draw on to carry out our work as “invisible doers”.
The more tools we collect throughout our professional career, the more efficient we will be and the more job opportunities we will have. It is, then, a continuous and endless training that leads us to continue learning day by day and enjoy the process.
This is one of the most common mistakes made by those who are not aware of the crucial relevance of our work. It is definitely not enough to know how to speak and communicate in a language to be able to faithfully translate content.
In the first place, as we have seen from this blog, languages have infinite particularities and many words have different meanings that challenge conventional knowledge of a language. But in addition, a professional translator not only knows the vocabulary, but is also an expert in grammar, spelling and style. Therefore, it is certainly not enough to speak two languages to be able to translate a text accurately.
Both professional translators who work freelance and those who are part of an agency must learn to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
Once committed to sending a translation in a timely manner, it must be achieved in any way. Therefore, we must be very organized and think carefully before accepting a new job if we can meet the expectations and urgencies of our clients.