How to become a professional language translator

(Last Updated On: August 14, 2015)

Reaching a career in the field of translation is not easy and it requires education, skills and determination. There are quite a lot of translators out there and if you want to become a well known professional language translator, you will have to struggle to stand out of the crowd.

While extensive knowledge of at least two languages and cultural differences between them is a must, along with other skills already outlined in a past article (5 Professional Traits a Professional Translator Should Have), it takes more than that to stand out from the crowd and become one of the most sought professional language translators.

Areas to improve in order to become a professional language translator

1. Mindset and personal development are essential components you need to work on if you want to become successful in this field.

2. Focus on building trust amongst your clients, listen closely to what they have to say, build relationships that can get you more customers in the long run.

3. Take your business seriously. It is the time to get out of your pajamas, even if you’re working from your own home. Get out of the bedroom, pick up a little working spot and stick to it. A business is to be treated like a business if you want to see results.

4. Find a balance between creating connections and spending countless hours on social networks. Read this article on time management for language translators in order to get the job done in time, every time.

5. Be friendly with your clients and your colleagues. Do your best to make every client happy even if you have to spend a few more hours on a job.

6. Be passionate about what you do. Read as much as you can about the subject you are specialized in. Create your own terminology so when it comes to a term, you won’t have to waste your time doing research on the matter.

7. Learn to say no. If you already have a project you are working on and you know you have no time for another one, say no. Politely explain why you are unable to take on another job and propose a more relaxed deadline. Most of your clients will accept it.

8. Don’t work yourself to death. Since you’re working from home, you can set your own working schedule. Alternate that with short breaks. Get out more. Exercise more.

9. Don’t accept a job you are not familiar with just because you need the money. If you do, you may end up with unhappy clients that could ruin your reputation.

10. Don’t stress yourself. By now, you know how much time it takes you to complete a project. Add some more time to that in order to calculate a realistic deadline for your future projects. Don’t accept tight deadlines if you know you won’t be able to make it.

Just like with any other business, a professional language translator must work hard in order to stand out of the crowd. Reading the above and putting it into practice might allow you to accomplish more while leaving enough free time for your personal life.