At the start of your translation/interpretation career you will soon discover you need skills beyond the obvious multi-lingualism. One of the most important to master quickly is networking. Be aware that if you aren’t able to get into a translation job straight away, there are jobs in connected industries. Publishing, for example, or law, or many international businesses. Aspects of these jobs will be useful not only for the contacts you’ll make but also for the opportunities to learn and understand industry-specific technicalities and prospective markets. Moreover, current colleagues may become future clients and if you continue to provide them with a great service they may well follow you throughout your career,
Even if you head straight into a great job in the more traditional translation industry it’s still important to keep networking in order to establish relationships with people in these industries. Conferences and workshops are a valuable source of good contacts, with the added advantage that more experienced pros you’ll meet there may be able to give you other tips and feedback. Essentially, you have to put yourself “out there”, so don’t be a shrinking violet. Remember, you may have gone into translation/interpretation because you love languages, but you are in business to make money!
You also have to, less literally, put yourself into the culture behind the languages you translate. While this will, to some extent, have been imbued in you during your language education, the business of ‘localisation’ – of making your work feel like it isn’t merely a translation but rather is immersed in the culture of your chosen language and the associated countries – is vital if you want to be recognised as not just a quality translation professional but also someone who understands everything that underpins your work. Put simply, you need to do further reading on top of understanding the technicalities of the language, not just while you’re learning it but also as you progress throughout your career.
There is no single, easy path to success in our industry. A combination of hard work, communication and – let’s face it – a certain amount of luck is what you need to make a go of it. But we all know the famous quote (even if no-one can agree who first said it) – the harder I work, the luckier I get!
Rosetta Stone, Global Connects