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How can you become a professional translator

  • You must love your second language as much as your native language. In some countries a multilingual environment is given, but in others only one native language is used. To become a translator you need to speak another language fluently. Those who learn a second language, such as English, never overlook the importance of fluency in the native language. However, if you’re taking your native language as the target, your English ability may be less important.

    Concentrate on your strongest subjects. You can’t be the best in every subject, but it is possible to stand out when you emphasize one or two in a preferred discipline. Those are the ones that will benefit from your full concentration and effort.

    Be equipped with up-to-date software and hardware. The translation industry is an indicator of industry in general, so it very quickly adopts the latest versions of computer software. If your client provides a file that can be opened with fairly recent software that translators acknowledge as being a “standard,” then you should have that software too. If you list Windows 95 in your resume but claim that you’re a professional translator, it could mean you aren’t making money from translation work.

    Manage your knowledge. To accomplish good translation in a professional manner you’ll need the support of extensive knowledge and skill, such as in the use of reference materials and sources. Having that knowledge will maximize your efficiency.

    February 4, 2009


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