what do you have to do in order to become a translator from scratch
Thread poster: eleni sakka

eleni sakka
Local time: 17:45
English to Greek
+ ...
May 28, 2002

Dear everyone,first I have to say that I\'m very glad that I found this helpfull site about translators from around the globe.

I have been thinking to beocme a translator for some time now as I am bilingual in English and Greek. I have studied in UK and after years of studying I\'m a scientist in cancer biology (PhD level). Having a high knowledge of all things scientific and being bilingual (with excellent writing skills), could I be considered as a potential medical/science translator or do I have to get some degree in tranlation?? I\'ll be glad if anyone could advise me on the above. Thank you very much for your time

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jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:45
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
My path May 29, 2002


Let me give you the quick version of my story.

Always enjoyed German, grew up English-only, studied on my own, high school, German language course in an engineering college (not much German), graduated with a BS in electrical engineering. Started working as an engineer.

Went to Germany to improve my German and VOILA! I became a translator. Have been a translating engineer or an engineering translator ever since.

Your specialized knowledge will stand you in good stead, but you should not neglect the grammar/writing facet. You have to have a dominant language and you should translate INTO that language. You should ensure that your output is not just scientific gobbledygook (as an engineer, I have seen MORE than my share of this--in both German AND English).

Getting work in the field is worth another thread entirely.

Welcome to the community and good luck.

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AAAmedical  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:45
English to Dutch
+ ...
medical translator too May 30, 2002


I\'ve graduated in 1993 as a veterinarian. I worked for a couple of years in Belgium as a vet but then we moved abroad. Due to the work of my husband we move every 2-3 years to another country. Medical translations seemed for me THE way to stay working in my field. Luckely I had good language skills. Not having a translation degree but being able to offer a field of expertise I found more and more clients. (I have to be honest: in the beginning it was very hard).

Good luck and maybe one little advice: stick yo your expertise field. This is a mistake I have made in the beginning in order to gain clients.

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