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retiring veterinarian starting from scratch as translator!
Thread poster: rowsbywoof
rowsbywoof
French to English
Jan 5, 2004

Hello, I am a retiring veterinarian who would like to do some online translating for fun and to make a little extra money. Although I read books in French as a hobby, I have absolutely no credentials. Where should I start? Should I take an online certificate program? If so are there any that can be completed at one's own pace? Is it possible to find occasional work without being glued to my computer? Any advise would be appreciated.
Lynda Fox


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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:12
German to English
+ ...
You're already an expert Jan 6, 2004

Is your French good enough so you can read specialized texts on veterinary medicine and related fields? If so — and assuming your English writing is strong and clear — you should be in a good position to establish yourself as a specialized translator in that area.

To find work, you could contact translation agencies — they're not difficult to find on the WWW, and even easier to find on ProZ and similar sites.

But as a veteran veterinarian (sorry, couldn't resist) you may already know which organizations would need translations in your specialty area — pharmaceutical manufacturers, zoos, research institutions, professional associations? I don't know, but you do! Why don't you contact them directly? To get some experience translating, you could consider doing volunteer translations for non-profit animal health and animal rights organizations. Then you'll be able to say, "I have experience as a translator."

Taking a course won't hurt you; whether it would help much, I don't know. Translating is certainly not the same thing as reading French books as a hobby — you really have to be able to think in two languages and know them inside out, and you must understand how they correspond. If you do, you should be able to translate; if not, taking a leisurely class probably won't make much of a difference, although some clients may be more willing to hire you if you have certain formal credentials.

To summarize: You may not have any experience as a translator but you have a lot of experience as a veterinarian. My suggestion is that you leverage the latter.


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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 21:12
German to Polish
+ ...
Great! You have a specialty. Jan 6, 2004

You might think it's limiting you to a certain area, but you ARE invaluable to those seeking a tranlator/ interpreter who REALLY know the subject. As Norbert mentions, go for institutions in your field.
As a good linguistic read I might suggest Language, Thought, and Reality by Benjamin Lee Whorf. To me, it was an eye-opener as far as language related relativity is concerned. He's still at the back of my head, making me double check everything I submit to client... Language shapes your view of the world and vice versa, quite enlightening.
Good luck in your new career
-Agnieszka + 2 cats-


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rowsbywoof
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Norbert, Jan 6, 2004

Norbert Gunther Kramer wrote:

Is your French good enough so you can read specialized texts on veterinary medicine and related fields? If so — and assuming your English writing is strong and clear — you should be in a good position to establish yourself as a specialized translator in that area.

To find work, you could contact translation agencies — they're not difficult to find on the WWW, and even easier to find on ProZ and similar sites.

But as a veteran veterinarian (sorry, couldn't resist) you may already know which organizations would need translations in your specialty area — pharmaceutical manufacturers, zoos, research institutions, professional associations? I don't know, but you do! Why don't you contact them directly? To get some experience translating, you could consider doing volunteer translations for non-profit animal health and animal rights organizations. Then you'll be able to say, "I have experience as a translator."

Taking a course won't hurt you; whether it would help much, I don't know. Translating is certainly not the same thing as reading French books as a hobby — you really have to be able to think in two languages and know them inside out, and you must understand how they correspond. If you do, you should be able to translate; if not, taking a leisurely class probably won't make much of a difference, although some clients may be more willing to hire you if you have certain formal credentials.

To summarize: You may not have any experience as a translator but you have a lot of experience as a veterinarian. My suggestion is that you leverage the latter.


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rowsbywoof
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thinking in 2 languages Jan 6, 2004

Thank you, Norbert. That's an interesting point about thinking in 2 languages. When I read French, I think in French and don't mentally translate into English first. But I am poor in going from English to French and mediocre in French vocabulary. A local state university offers a 6-week total immersion course in Quebec. Would that be more helpful than on line courses or books on translating? Thank you for helping me.
Lynda


Norbert Gunther Kramer wrote:

Is your French good enough so you can read specialized texts on veterinary medicine and related fields? If so — and assuming your English writing is strong and clear — you should be in a good position to establish yourself as a specialized translator in that area.

To find work, you could contact translation agencies — they're not difficult to find on the WWW, and even easier to find on ProZ and similar sites.

But as a veteran veterinarian (sorry, couldn't resist) you may already know which organizations would need translations in your specialty area — pharmaceutical manufacturers, zoos, research institutions, professional associations? I don't know, but you do! Why don't you contact them directly? To get some experience translating, you could consider doing volunteer translations for non-profit animal health and animal rights organizations. Then you'll be able to say, "I have experience as a translator."

Taking a course won't hurt you; whether it would help much, I don't know. Translating is certainly not the same thing as reading French books as a hobby — you really have to be able to think in two languages and know them inside out, and you must understand how they correspond. If you do, you should be able to translate; if not, taking a leisurely class probably won't make much of a difference, although some clients may be more willing to hire you if you have certain formal credentials.

To summarize: You may not have any experience as a translator but you have a lot of experience as a veterinarian. My suggestion is that you leverage the latter.


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rowsbywoof
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Language, Thought, and Reality Jan 6, 2004

Thank you, Agnieszka,
Amazon.com only had 3 copies of this book in stock, so I ordered it right away. The concept of language and world view being interrelated is something I never thought about before. I look forward to reading it.
Lynda

tygru wrote:

You might think it's limiting you to a certain area, but you ARE invaluable to those seeking a tranlator/ interpreter who REALLY know the subject. As Norbert mentions, go for institutions in your field.
As a good linguistic read I might suggest Language, Thought, and Reality by Benjamin Lee Whorf. To me, it was an eye-opener as far as language related relativity is concerned. He's still at the back of my head, making me double check everything I submit to client... Language shapes your view of the world and vice versa, quite enlightening.
Good luck in your new career
-Agnieszka + 2 cats-


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