Translation: A Skill in Great Demand
Translation is a profession which requires critical thinking skills and an academic level of knowledge.
Translation is a profession which requires critical thinking skills and an academic level of knowledge. A good translator is one who has a lot of experience and a passion for language: like a good wine, a translator improves with age!
Some translators are self-employed - freelance translators - while other translators work for various agencies or organizations. While each career is quite different, the concept of working hard for translation clients is still the same. Perhaps the only difference is that freelance translators need to protect their personal lives and ensure they’re disciplined enough to limit the hours they work. It does take personal responsibility and self-discipline to become a successful freelance translator.
Finding Translation Work
When you’re your own boss it’s up to you to find work. Like most self-employed people, freelance translators will generally describe their workload as feast or famine. One minute you’re drowning in work and translating until the early hours of the morning, completely sleep deprived and trying to meet impossible deadlines; and the next moment you’re checking emails and praying the phone will ring because you suddenly have no work. This is the reality of a self-employed person!
Succeeding in the Translation Industry
Basically, if you’re not successful in your translation business it means you’re not working hard enough. A successful freelance translator will be a fast and accurate translator, in addition to being a smart business person; and that smart business person will ensure that you have a great marketing strategy. You can’t expect people to come to you they don’t even know you exist. You have to put yourself and your translation skills out there; but even more than this, you have to be prepared to approach potential clients. For the clients you do have, it’s all about timing. By this, we mean delivering translation projects on time, or even ahead of time. Never, ever, submit a translation late! And of course, customer service is vitally important: keep your customers informed as to how you’re progressing with their translation.
A Love of Languages
Most translators already have a passion for languages and they’re already proficient in at least two. Analyzing the meaning of languages and translating from one into another is the challenge that translators love. Translators who specialize in specific areas have a deep knowledge and understanding of their topic, and they never stop learning. They do whatever it takes to polish their knowledge and their writing skills.
Working from a Home Office
Even though freelance translators may work from the comfort of their own home, they still must maintain their professionalism. Perhaps they don’t need to dress up for work, but what they say, and how they say it in both oral and written communications is vitally important when creating and maintaining business relationships.
In today’s global business environment, professional translators have become an integral part of communication. A good translator has a strong linguistic background with a love of writing, in addition to having good business sense; because translating is not just about the work – a freelance translator’s job is to make a profit from their work. So, besides completing translation projects, they must be capable of managing their marketing, their finances, and their translation business.
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