What Specialties To Pick?????
Thread poster: dmaswary
dmaswary  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:55
Portuguese to English
Mar 26, 2008

I am very convinced that one of the absolute keys to success is picking specialties within your area of expertise and building your business around that. I have recently made the decision to work on translations as a serious job to accompany my established career.


I live in Brazil where I am establishing a career as a professional martial arts competitor and I have been earning some income with translations and I have even done some conference interpreting. I love foreing languages so much, I would practically work in them for free. As I have pesky needs for food and health insurance and other irritating necessities I have decided to go the extra mile and work in translations as well.

Their are several langauges I feel apt and competent to work with but I feel pretty settled that the more specific I get, the more consistently I will have work. I mentioned for for several reasons:

1 - I am opening a website and I would like to put in the time to do the job correctly.

2 - A lot of my professional experience is in, well, brutal and violent martial arts. Despite this I am a very well-read individual with a degree in creative writing and literature. The degree I can put on my website as an area of expertise (literature etc...) I feel particularly strong in business and science-medicine/biology as another subject I can discuss and qualify as a specialist. I suppose anything athletic and sports related would be included as well as philosophy but I dont think their is any market for that is there?

So my basic question is how do I demonstrate my knowledge of those areas when I am somewhat auto-didactic in all of them.

On a website how would I write up medicine when I'm not a doctor with any technical training, but rather a studyaholic with a keen interest in that subject?

For business I have an idea of how to narrow it down but all input is appreciated.



Thank you all for your time and responses and I hope this doesn't sound too ridiculous.


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dmaswary  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:55
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
one last thing Mar 26, 2008

I've been on the boards for a while and I don't want to come across the wrong way or violate board etiquette. If this question is flat-out ridiculous and shouldn't be posted, please let me know. Thanks everyone.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Somewhat auto-didactic Mar 26, 2008

I think we are all much more than somewhat autodidactic in many of the areas in which we work. You should not worry about that so long as you actually know the subjects and can communicate properly in them in your working languages.

Insofar as my own areas of autodidacticity (6 references on Google), I am self-taught in practically all of them, including translation itself. That does not worry me, because the work I can do speaks for itself; no more needed. For instance, if we needed a PhD in all the areas we worked in, we would not be making much of a living, would we? We all know that our work is quite varied, so we have to continue developing our competence in many areas.

Incidentally, I think martial arts as one specialty is a good one.


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dmaswary  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:55
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
cool!!! Mar 26, 2008

OK, so this brings up a discussion I was having.

My area of competition is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Submission Wrestling and I am trying to turn professional in Mixed Martial Arts. Im very involved in the world of languages and martial arts and its almost by virtue of being a polyglot that I have gotten some fantastic oportunities.


I didn't want to bring it up because Im worried that the vast majority of people will see me as....... somehow unprofessional and potential clients will worry that the work won't get done. Im planning on including sample work I have done on the website to demonstrate my quaifications. Frankly, I'd work in translations for free if it was viable, I have a passion for competing and languages.

Would a biography on my website discussing my involvement in MMA be a good selling point, or should I not mention much of my life outside of translation on the website?

Thats the dilemna Im having. Does it matter to prospective clients that I do have a second job? The other languages I speak outside of my work language? Or should I leave the website to simply state that I am currently acting in the world of MMA/ physical fitness and list it as an area of expertise? The language in that particular field is so field specific I think most brazilians born and bred would have trouble with it.




Thanks very much for that reply, I'm new to the board and I've been exploding synapses left and right trying to figure out how to market myself. You can tell it hasn't been easy by the smoke coming out of my ears


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 21:55
Specialise in sports Mar 26, 2008

We tend to think of specialities as being in the spheres of business, law, medicine etc.
But there *is* a market for sports translations - why not approach a news agency. You could write and translate articles about martial arts for them.

Orla


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RachelG  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
German to English
How to specialise?.. Jul 2, 2008

Hi everyone,

I am a student member and just finding my way around this (great and useful) site.

I have just passed the first year of a Diploma/MA in Translation (German to English) and going to study CAT and Corpus next term.

I really am just starting out and wondered the following:

How on earth does one start to get specialised in a subject? eg. to do medical translations? It would be ideal of course to have studied medicine, have excellent command of at least 2 languages plus a qualification in translation but how many people actually have all that? How could I start to learn and then get experience? One reputable agency said I could get a subscription for, say a medical journal in German (and English), keep reading, learning and abreast of terminology etc.

Any advice would be appreciated!

many thanks,
Rachel


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Stephanie Sirot  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:55
English to French
+ ...
Different ways to specialize Jul 2, 2008

You can specialize in a subject by gaining work experience related to this subject. This is a very good way because not only you will know the specific terminology but also have an excellent understanding of the subject.

You can also take on extra courses. It is useful especially for subjects like law or medecine. You don't need to obtain a degree either.

And as the agency suggests you can choose a field that interests you and learn everything about it.

Stephanie.




RachelG wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am a student member and just finding my way around this (great and useful) site.

I have just passed the first year of a Diploma/MA in Translation (German to English) and going to study CAT and Corpus next term.

I really am just starting out and wondered the following:

How on earth does one start to get specialised in a subject? eg. to do medical translations? It would be ideal of course to have studied medicine, have excellent command of at least 2 languages plus a qualification in translation but how many people actually have all that? How could I start to learn and then get experience? One reputable agency said I could get a subscription for, say a medical journal in German (and English), keep reading, learning and abreast of terminology etc.

Any advice would be appreciated!

many thanks,
Rachel


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