A good translation professional should be more than proficient in their working languages. The professional needs to constantly seek new knowledge and delve into the latest trends and technologies available. But where do I start? To help you on that journey, we have prepared some tips to get you started on your translation career.
But before reading our advice, check out below how you can prepare to work as a professional translator.
When entering the translation market, courses and specialization degrees can be an excellent starting point or a way to refresh your knowledge. Translation courses offer theoretical and practical content on the source and target languages of choice, research techniques, use of tools, and terminological bases, and are usually taught by active professionals who can give valuable tips about the job market and how to enter it.
Another benefit of specializing in translation in a traditional way, whether in a face-to-face or online course, is collaborating with other students in practical activities. Exercises in which each person contributes with their own solutions based on different perspectives to translate the same text, for example, can be enriching. Besides, workshops and courses are great to build a network of contacts and to try and get your first job in the area.
But the main reason to pursue a qualification in translation is to gain experience, be more prepared and support your professional background. That way, you increase your chances of being able to work in a translation company, either as an in-house or freelancer resource, even if you don’t have much professional experience yet.
Many translators in Brazil have Bachelor’s degrees in languages or related fields, such as Communication, but academic degrees in Translation are starting to become more common. Below we list some Brazilian higher education institutions that offer academic degrees in translation:
In addition to undergraduate courses, today we find a multitude of specializations and workshops in the field of translation, which can be segmented into audiovisual translation, language interpretation, literary translation, and much more. Check out some of these courses below:
During your education, you will meet professors and colleagues with experience in the translation market and it is very important to build a network of contacts with these professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and inquire about translation tools, companies to send your resume to, and events to participate in.
Check out our 4 tips for you to start your career in translation!
Computer-Assisted Translation tools are indispensable in the translation and localization market. These tools automate part of the work using translation memories, glossaries, and other functions (you can read more about CAT tools here). From robust, traditional tools like SDL Trados Studio to modern, cloud-based tools like Smartling and Memsource, it’s important to understand their basic workings if you intend to work for language solutions companies. We’ve listed some free CAT tools for you to try and get acquainted with this universe on our Instagram profile.
Websites, blogs, and social media profiles geared towards translators, such as Translator 101, Tradutor Iniciante, and Satsuma’s social media pages are good starting points for you to learn about the routine of professional translators, discover new tools and best practices. Translator groups on LinkedIn and Facebook are also great channels for interacting with industry professionals in Brazil and abroad.
Platforms like Proz.com and Translators Cafe are communities where translators from around the world can interact and exchange project experiences in forums, share and suggest terminology translations, and display samples of their work in portfolios, in addition to serving as a bulletin board for translators to post their resumes and companies to post job offers.
Conferences, lectures, and workshops are great opportunities to learn about the latest trends in the field of translation and learn more about the work of fellow professionals. Some annual events for you to follow up in Brazil include:
These events are also excellent for you to strengthen your network of contacts, which is essential at the beginning of your career.
Search the websites of Brazilian and foreign translation companies to check if they are hiring translators and/or proofreaders. Many companies usually have a dedicated email address for receiving resumes and, like Satsuma, they are always looking for qualified professionals to compose their databases.
In addition to reviewing your professional background, companies will often use tests to assess your skills as a translator. If you don’t pass a test at first, don’t be discouraged, face it as a learning experience. Analyze your work and try to understand how you can improve. Seek feedback from the company, if possible, and try to apply again sometime later when you have gained more experience.
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