How to Become A Successful Translator

After finishing all the required studies and accreditation programs, if any, that you need to be a translator, now you are ready to face the world as a translator. Translating careers can be both fun and challenging. You actually have two options-you can either be a freelance translator working for various local and foreign companies who outsource translation jobs or you can be an in-house corporate translator.

Let me share with you some good insights on how you can become a successful translator:

1. You need to have an ability to write very well. Of course, this is really important because being a translator does not only require you to have the ability to translate the source document into another language but you also need to have it translated and written properly. As a translator, you will be handling different types of documents and you need to be able to maintain the integrity for each. For instance, if you are translating a legal contract, then you need to maintain the formal tone of the document when it is translated.

2. You have to be very fluent to your second language so you can carry out a conversation with a native speaker without difficulty. Conversing with a native speaker of a different language and being able to get your message across without much difficulty is perhaps the true test of a translator. Language is a very dynamic component of culture and as such, would often depend on the people who speak it.

3. While university degrees or qualification is not really a requirement, it can give you plus points. If you want to become a freelance translator, it important that you are qualified to become a translator.

4. Confidence is always the key. You have to feel confident and at ease not only with your target language but also with the industry that you are working with. For instance, if you are working for a banking conglomerate, then you need to feel comfortable writing and translating documents that is appropriate for the industry.

5. Familiarize yourself. Before you grab any opportunity that comes to your door, make sure that you familiarize yourself with your assignment to avoid further complications between you and your prospective employer.

6. Speak, speak, speak! Practice always makes perfect and this is also the same rule for learning a second language. If you will be given the opportunity to participate in foreign exchange programs, grab it. There's no other way to perfect your second language but to use it every day.

The author is a professional translator and interpreter for Lingua Port Singapore. She has been exposed to translation and interpretation projects for more than 8 years and has thoroughly been involved in every aspect of the organization and management. Contact us today at to enquire on how we can help you with your translation and interpretation requirements.

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