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Ways of specialising
Thread poster: Angela Dickson

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:16
French to English
+ ...
May 10, 2004

I am working towards the UK IoL DipTrans in French-English translation (having completed my degree in French four years ago), and I am considering creative ways of acquiring specialisms while still earning a living. I don't think I could earn a crust just yet as a translator, but I am considering ways in. At present, I am a medical secretary so am familiar with general medical terminology in English.

The question I have for the assembled throng is this - would a period of secretarial experience in a field, combined with proven translation ability, be sufficient to convince an agency/client to offer translation work in that field? If so, I shall leave this job and get some legal secretarial experience in order to diversify a bit. I also intend to ask around to see whether any of my work acquaintances have any French texts I could try my hand at.

Does this sound like a good plan of action that could yield results? Or would I be better off finding other ways of specialising?

many thanks
Angela


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Gayle Wallimann  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:16
Member (2001)
French to English
+ ...
Specializing... May 10, 2004

I personally think that your idea is a great one, unless you want to spend even more time in school and then still try to get an agency to give you a go. Personal working experience in any field is one of the best ways to specialize, in my opinion. Look through profiles of members on the site, and you will see that most of us have acquired our specialization through work experience and/or special interests combined with love of language and writing skills.

It's also a great idea to have people let you try translating a text and then giving you feedback on your work.

Also, read all that you can in both languages on your specific field of interest.

If you really want to be a translator, I'm sure you'll succeed.


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:16
Partial member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Stick to the medical field May 10, 2004

If you like medical subjects, stick to this field. I would not jump into legal translations. Specializing takes years. I would rather do volunteer work in this field to get more hands-on experience.
I personally love medical translations (even if they require a lot of terminology search) and I think it's a great field where you have good chance to succeed.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:16
German to English
+ ...
ITI May 11, 2004

Consider joining the ITI and the Medical Translators' Network.

www.iti.org.uk
www.medicaltranslators.net

Marc


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:16
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ITI/IoL? May 11, 2004

I am working towards an IoL qualification, so had considered joining the IoL as a student - does the ITI do things the IoL doesn't? can one join both?




MarcPrior wrote:

Consider joining the ITI and the Medical Translators' Network.

www.iti.org.uk
www.medicaltranslators.net

Marc


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
Same situation, roughly May 14, 2004

Angela,

I posted a topic about specialising in the Spanish forum the day before you did, if you understand Spanish you can click on http://www.proz.com/topic/21068 I am also working towards an IoL Diploma (Public Service Interpreting) in the health field.
Medicine ruleZ, I want to stick to this field as well. If you are interested in voluntary work, as some colleagues have suggested, you should have a look at these charity directories: http://www.bond2.org.uk/members/ http://www.proz.com/topic/21068
They’re quite extensive. I’m contacting many charities, if you do the same, I’d appreciate your feedback.
Laura, is it acutally easy to get jobs as a voluntary worker? Is it much easier than paid jobs. I’ve only started to apply for them recently (a few weeks) and I still haven’t got an answer.
Re ITI/IoL: I have recently joined both, but I still can’t tell you which one offers you better benefits. The ITI organise specific networks (about medicine, interpreting...), but I’m a bit disappointed with them because you can’t appear in their directory if you’re only an associate member (i.e. with less than three years experience).

Regards,

Javier


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
One mistake May 14, 2004

Sorry! I failed to copy one of the charity directories' addresses. There it is: http://libwww.essex.ac.uk/Human_Rights/ngos.htm

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Cidália Martins
English
+ ...
I agree with the others... May 20, 2004

I would stick with medicine and get really good at it.

I also plan to specialize in medical translation when the time comes, and am in the process of taking a medical transcription course. Not only will this give me some in-depth training in medical terminology (as well as speedy keyboarding skills), but will also provide me with an extra career in addition to translation.

Just getting a good handle on a subject like medicine is a lot to do, if you think about it, because you need to learn the subject's terminology in all your working languages--not just one.

I don't know how some manage to specialize in medical AND legal translation. I think I'm more intimidated by legal translation because of the differences in legal systems and titles between countries--that'll give you an extra workout. I find that, most of the time, medical terms are a little more straightforward.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:16
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You're all correct! May 21, 2004

Thanks to all - it's great to hear so many different perspectives! I think my thoughts of getting into legal work were a red herring - for separate reasons I am keen to leave this particular job. I think I'll try getting experience in different areas of medicine, and get a BIG French/English medical dictionary, and get hold of some texts to chew on.

cmartins - what does the transcription course involve? Is it aimed at medical secretaries (my current job)? I'm wondering how I could 'sell' my transcription/terminology skills (i.e. what I should put on my cv).

this is all giving great food for thought. Thank you,

Angela






cmartins wrote:

I would stick with medicine and get really good at it.

I also plan to specialize in medical translation when the time comes, and am in the process of taking a medical transcription course. Not only will this give me some in-depth training in medical terminology (as well as speedy keyboarding skills), but will also provide me with an extra career in addition to translation.

Just getting a good handle on a subject like medicine is a lot to do, if you think about it, because you need to learn the subject's terminology in all your working languages--not just one.

I don't know how some manage to specialize in medical AND legal translation. I think I'm more intimidated by legal translation because of the differences in legal systems and titles between countries--that'll give you an extra workout. I find that, most of the time, medical terms are a little more straightforward.



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Cidália Martins
English
+ ...
Re: Medical transcription course May 22, 2004

Angela wrote:

cmartins - what does the transcription course involve? Is it aimed at medical secretaries (my current job)? I'm wondering how I could 'sell' my transcription/terminology skills (i.e. what I should put on my cv).

[/quote]

Hi Angela,

The medical transcription course I am enrolled in is not aimed at medical secretaries, that is to say, it's a medical transcription ONLY course. The transcription studies (and I believe the terminology portion as well) involved in this course are more in-depth than what you would get in a medical secretarial program. In fact, there are some students in the program I'm taking that are medical secretaries, nurses, etc.; and they're looking to specialize in medical transcription.

I'm studying with M-Tec, if you'd like to have a look: http://www.mtecinc.com

If you have experience as a medical secretary, that is definitely something to mention on your cv.

If you have no particular interest in medical transcription, you could consider taking an in-depth medical terminology course.

Best of luck,

Cidalia


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
A suggestion for current and future medical translators Jun 25, 2004

Hi all,

As you know, one way to share in the world of medical translators is to read and write about -well, medical translation!

The American Translators Association has a Medical Division that publishes a newsletter, Caduceus. In case you'd like to learn more about it, please read: http://www.proz.com/topic/19183

Cheers,

Elena


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Jean-Christophe Duc  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:16
English to French
+ ...
IoL, ITI & ITI/IoL - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Jul 14, 2004

does the ITI do things the IoL doesn't? can one join both?

There's nothing the ITI does that the IOL does not.
To join the ITI and have the privilege to have your name in their directory, it will cost you about £200. For the IoL, it is half the price for the same service, plus they organise some classes/seminars.
There are more difficult decisions to make...
JC


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:16
Partial member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
How is it going? Aug 24, 2004

Hi Angela,
How are you proceeding?
I bumped into this article and thought it could be interesting for you even though the language pair is Japanese-English:
http://www.jat.org/jtt/seamanbraverman.html
Laura


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