No language is logical or consistent, as even linguists behind automatic software translation will gladly agree to. Certainly, if I needed to translate this article into French using something similar to Google Translate, I’d wind up with French text riddled with grammatical errors and sloppy syntax.
What’s Involved in Translating?
Translating text from one language into another language demands that personal touch; otherwise, the translated text might become horribly and hilariously mutilated. Many individuals think translating written text is spending long, stressful hours in front of a computer with a dictionary in one hand, a thesaurus on the desk, and a free hand correcting language mistakes–but this picture is inaccurate.
Knowing two languages is one part; being proficient and knowing the definitions and significances of writing in both languages paints a more accurate picture. Of course, let’s remember about a writer’s existing knowledge and expertise that enhances his or her skills and abilities to translate text. Using the advice above, your task in translating will not just involve extracting the primary interpretation from one dialect to another, as in real-time spoken translation.
Instead the client will give you a document (be it complex or common) and ask you to translate it into the specific language. Seems challenging? Definitely, but it’s also fulfilling! If you wish to freelance as a translator, you should write according to the criteria of your peers, and also thoroughly learn the syntax and grammar of your particular language.
Improving Your Translation Skills
The best way to progress in translation is to devote yourself to studying closely a second language (besides your mother-tongue). In addition to the gratifying benefits of translating (if you are searching for new cultural connections, an intricate mental challenge, or a strategy to qualify for advanced global work), it may also work as an entrance to financially-rewarding jobs. As with many tasks, the more work you complete, the more you improve your skills–and this always translates into getting more jobs with existing and new clients.
Why? Translators are not just a rare breed, but they also function in themselves as entranceways to untouched markets. The majority of people who read this article are English speaking individuals. Even though our local readership is massive, a noticeable portion of the literate world cannot understand the value of this article because they lack English-language knowledge. Unleashing that enormous percentile would significantly broaden our readership and add more value to our website.
Developing a Career in Translation
If you think you have a solid grasp of two or more languages and you understand the subtle meanings of words and phrases, you can develop a thriving career in translation from your existing skill-set. First, you put together a portfolio of related work, and you create a reputation for yourself. Locate magazine, newspaper, or website content and translate them (with original credit referenced, obviously), create a free blog (use Google’s Blogger or WordPress) and then publish the translated content to your blog.
Uncover Translation Job Opportunities
To improve your skills, offer to translate texts from niche, online, or local book and magazine publishers. Make an effort to contact the ideal publishers about providing a translated adaptation of a work. Don’t ignore the price of volunteer work. No matter if goes to that, consider restaurants and companies that sell goods and services using your mother-tongue, and ask to produce alternate signage for them in Spanish, or French or German, or whatever language they need to reach a wider audience to boost their sales.
Websites frequently consent to freelance proposals to translate their materials into foreign languages to maximize their brand and broaden their target market. Browsing through retro websites for assignments to fan-translate older video games texts or to create genuine translated variants of open-source and Creative Commons software can procure you with extraordinary qualifications as a translator. Established businesses and organizations will marvel at your unique, diverse translation abilities.
Use Your Writing and Translation Skills Together
Remember to practice complex, technical and industry-trade translation, since we all realize how abundant those belittling user-instruction pamphlets are. You know, the ones included with your newest TV or computer, using 18 versions of translated directions?
Eventually, you will realize that your translation skills will also strengthen and complement your writing skills. Look for jobs to blend together your skills of a writer and translator. Pitch yourself as a freelancer who not just writes the initial material, but
also translates it!
Last Minute Advice
Translators usually have to market their skills and services regularly to the industry via Internet and traditional marketing. Stay behind the line of begging for work; but at the same time, you shouldn’t hesitate to sweep in for the “hard sell” if you think it’s right. Rise above your competition by motivating yourself to locating work and constantly marketing yourself, and you will end up landing your first paying gig.