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1. specialisation, 2. beyond translation, onto technology
Thread poster: xxxmalmuftah
xxxmalmuftah
Local time: 15:17
Arabic to English
May 15, 2002

Hi, I have been thinking about getting into freelance translating and have been researching the industry over the past few months. I\'ve learned a lot (mostly from this website! as well as other friendly veterans) but still have a few questions that i hope some of u can help me with:



1. I know that I am capable of providing excellent translations but I have no experience and no technical specialty area. I have a degree in economics and I guess the most technical I can get is economic theory, intermediate econometrics, politics and history. Do u think it is viable to build a career on this? I have noticed that most translators have very technical specialisms in the sciences and engineering. Do you think that there is enough demand for non-technical/non-specialised translations for someone like me to make a career out of this?



2. Once the beginner gets beyond the issue of being able to translate well, what are the minimum technical requirements? I have read about the need for skills in document handling, typesetting, dtp and the use of software specifically developed for the translation industry. Is there anywhere on the net (or in print) that one can get information on what is required/useful/used by almost everyone (e.g. software) and how such skills can be developed (e.g. book list)?



Thank you and hoping to hear from you soon.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:17
English to German
+ ...
Don't underestimate the effort May 15, 2002

Hi.

I don\'t want to put you off the profession, but there are a few points in your post that make me a bit suspicious as to whether your research was thorough enough...



Quote:


1. I know that I am capable of providing excellent translations but I have no experience and no technical specialty area.



How do you know that you can provide excellent translations if you have no experience? As I have learned myself (the hard way...), translating is much more than just being able to speak and understand two languages.



Quote:


I have a degree in economics and I guess the most technical I can get is economic theory, intermediate econometrics, politics and history. Do u think it is viable to build a career on this? I have noticed that most translators have very technical specialisms in the sciences and engineering. Do you think that there is enough demand for non-technical/non-specialised translations for someone like me to make a career out of this?



Taking this question on its own merits, the answer is \"Yes, probably.\" The problem I see is in conjunction with your first statement. No idea what the situation is in your language pair, but in general there\'s quite a significant number of people out there competing for jobs, at pretty rock-bottom prices. Ask yourself what you can offer to a prospective outsourcer that the next translator down the line cannot.



Regarding technology, there are a lot of threads in the \"Comparison shopping\" forum on this site.



With respect to skills, don\'t forget that translating requires proper training and linguistic experience. Once again, putting you off the idea is the last thing on my mind - yet having entered this industry as a non-linguist myself, I have experienced the pitfalls first-hand...



Best of luck!

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xxxmalmuftah
Local time: 15:17
Arabic to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, I see your point.. May 16, 2002

I see your point about experience teaching you how good you really are. I am contemplating a number of pathways: MA translation, work experience in an area of specialism, or starting up immediately as a freelancer. Your post has helped me to see things more clearly. Thank you.

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David Rockell
Chinese to English
Economics sounds like a good area to develop in May 16, 2002

It sounds like you have a lot of prerequisite skills to become an excellent translator and so I wish you the best of luck. Perhaps, specializing in one area of economics might be a good idea. You could think about what economic information the English speaking world will need from the Arabic speaking world. I am a Chinese translator and get quite a bit of work regarding the securities industry. In any case, although formal training has its merits, there is only one way to really become a translator and that is to try for real. Whether you are able to make a reasonable living out of it will tell you if it is the thing for you.



Hazz Sa-eed,



Dave


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:17
English to Arabic
+ ...
Establish your skills and specialties to your local market May 16, 2002

Greetings / taHaiya tayyiba wa b3ad...



ÊÍíÉ ØíÈÉ æÈÚÏ....ÚÓÇß ÈÎíÑ





3saakii bikhair...



Ref your post in proz.com.



Considering your academic background in economics, you might consider (as early steps in building your business presence and reputation in the Qatari business community) specializing your vocabulary and marketing yourself as a translator of materials that deal with



o business correspondence



o banking / finance / insurance



o contracts and agreements



o commercial / advertising / marketing



o public relations / corporate relations



o some technical or industrial subjects in local sectors such as the Qatari natural gas and oil industries (and their joint venture foreign partners)



You might find some other freelance translators there in Qatar (in Al-Doha or nearby) who can assist you with clarifications of troublesome terms, advise you on their business practices, and also provide you with third-party independent review, validation and verification of your translation before you deliver it to a client (that participation effectively includes proofreading and editing in your production cycle).



HTH. Khair, in sha\' Allah. ÎíÑ Åä ÔÇÁ Ãááå



Stephen H. Franke





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