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\"How can young translators succeed?
Thread poster: Alisha
Alisha
Local time: 05:09
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 6, 2002

Hi everybody!

How are you all? Hope you\'re doing well!

I\'m a young translator (English-Italian, German-Italian and viceversa). I graduated last year but haven\'t found a job as translator yet! And that\'s really frustrating! I\'ve been studying hard to become a translator since I was at High School at the age of 15... I\'ve always known I was meant to be a translator, but last year I found out it wasn\'t that easy!!

I graduated in translation studies and obtained the highest mark, which I thought would have helped me succeeding in the world of translation. I thought it was a good start, but I was wrong! And beside my results at University, I was (and am now as well!) sure I could be a good translator, but translation agencies in the area didn\'t even reply to my letters just because I\'m not very experienced! How do I get experienced if no one is going to give me a job? I didn\'t expect them to call up and give me thousands of jobs, but I expected them to send me translation tests at least!! I\'m not afraid of showing what I can do, because I do know I\'m able to do something especially when it deals with translation!!!

I don\'t want to give up (I\'ve never done that before!) but at the same time I can hardly find the courage to go on in this way!

I know many of you have already answered to posts like this one, but could anyone tell me how to succeed as a translator and how did you found your first jobs? Thanks a lot for your replies!

Translator in soul.


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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:09
Spanish to English
The hard truth... Sep 6, 2002

At least where I live, very few translators can make an exclusive living from it. Most work comes through agencies, and agencies tend to stick to \"tried and proven\" translators.



My first suggestion is to align yourself with a Translators\' Association. This will probably require you to write some sort of certification/accreditation exam. After becoming a member of an association, offer your services to other association members at a discount (so you can get some experience). When translators become overburdened, they will be more than happy to share work, and at the same time help someone get a head start in the profession. This is common in many associations (mentoring), and is encouraged to help sustain the profession. After all, we won\'t live forever!



If you truly want to make this your only source of income, then you will have to do a lot of door-knocking to build your own client base. Mentoring will help give you the experience, but it certainly won\'t put the food on the table. And don\'t wait for agencies to get back to you, or you will be waiting for a very long time! I can tell you that from the many agencies I have applied to, I currently do work for only two.



Believe me, it will take time to develop a client base in this profession. Unlike other University programs, there aren\'t translator jobs waiting to be filled (as is the case with engineers, accountants, etc.). It is a very different industry, dominated by agencies who subcontract work to individuals. Some large companies will have in-house translators, but these opportunities are few and far between.



I hope this is of some help. I know this isn\'t necessarily what you wanted to hear.



Best of luck from a fellow translator.



Russell


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 05:09
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
NGOs Sep 6, 2002

You can begin by helping the NGOs...
[addsig]


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Alisha
Local time: 05:09
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
:-) Sep 6, 2002

I am actually trying to find some non-profit organizations needing translators.... Thanks!

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Alisha
Local time: 05:09
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for your suggestions! Sep 6, 2002

Dear Russell,

thank you so much for what you wrote...it\'s not reassuring but anyway it\'s the point of view of someone who succeeded and that helps me.



I found out that the main problem of becoming member of a Translators\' Association is that (here in Italy at least) most associations require at least five years of translating experience (which I don\'t have!!). I\'m focusing my attention on international associations: so, if you have any suggestions about International association which don\'t require a certificated experience, I\'d be really grateful!!



Take care,

Lucia


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Lilian Vardanyan
Greece
Local time: 06:09
Greek to English
+ ...
I have had the same frustration a few years before. Sep 6, 2002

You are absolutely right- all the companies need very experienced translators with impressive CV-s. Some 5-6 years ago I did these things:



1. I have sent my CV-s to all the known and unknown translating agencies.

2. I went to the embassies, international companies, UN office in my country.

3. I made traslations of some piecies of literature trying to get published in the papers.



You wonder what all this resulted in?

1. The agencies were silent for about 6 or 7 months, then I got an invitaion to work for the Presidential Election Campaign for the OSCE and UN observers. There I met lots of people, made some acquaintances and afterwards got a permanent place of the secretary at the American University of Armenia.

2. I was published 2 times but didn\'t get a penny...

The best payments for the translations were at the Banking, Sociology or other seminars. This was a synchronized translation from a cabin. For me, the most difficult in the sphere of oral translation.

As for the written, I would call poetry the most difficult to translate. Try to clear up what type of translation you are eager to do: literature, business, law, written or interpreting?

Nowadays it\'s very hard to find purely translating and to live with it. Try to combine your skills. I work for the International Telecommunication company, where the knowledge of many languages is needed.

I advise you to ask people, your fellows and whoever you think will help you. Don\'t be shy!



I hope this will help,

Cheers,

Lily.


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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:09
Spanish to English
Sorry to hear that... Sep 6, 2002

The association I belong to actually has an Associate membership, which is before a Certified membership. There is an Associate exam, after which you have 6 years to pass the Certified exam. During that time you need to acquire a certain amount of experience in your language pair.



I am surprised that most associations don\'t have different levels. It certainly helps build competency in beginning translators.



I\'m sorry I couldn\'t be of more help! The suggestion to try non-profit organizations sounds like a good idea. I would also try offering your services to local law firms, especially ones that deal in immigration. I get a lot of work from that area (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.)



Best regards,



Russell


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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 05:09
Dutch to English
+ ...
Oral translation Sep 7, 2002

[quote]

On 2002-09-06 21:26, Lill wrote:



\"This was a synchronized translation from a cabin. For me, the most difficult in the sphere of oral translation\".



This is not translation, but interpreting. Interpreting is totally different from translation. You have to rephrase in the target language what a speaker is saying in the source language.

For interpreting, you usually have to go through a year of extra training.



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Lilian Vardanyan
Greece
Local time: 06:09
Greek to English
+ ...
I think I know the difference between the Interpreting and the Oral tanslation. Sep 8, 2002

By Interpreting we usually mean the approximate translation, i.e. the attempt to pass the whole idea, probably tranfering the whole idea of a 2 or 3 sentenced paragraph.



What I did was a synchronised trnaslation almost word by word, phrase by phrase, talking immediately after the lecturer. It was more precise than a simple interpreting, that is why I call it a synchronised translation.


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Mahulena Potasova
Local time: 05:09
English to Slovak
+ ...
Do not give up Sep 9, 2002

Try to visit the web site of the European Union at www.europa.eu.int

They provide paid/unpaid traineeship opportunities where you can gain some experience.

Good luck

Mahu


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Alisha
Local time: 05:09
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Sep 9, 2002

Hi! Thanks for your support and suggestions...I surely won\'t give up!!!



Take care,

Lucy/Alisha


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 12:09
English
+ ...
Dear Alisha Sep 10, 2002

At the outset, it\'s easiest to consider translation as a sideline: sell hamburgers on the nightshift all week long, without forgetting that you are destined for other (not necessarily \"better\" things).

Look at your \"social capital\". Is daddy a civil engineer or a pumpkin farmer? What about the aunts, cousins and neighbours in your life? What do they DO? These people are not only Living Dictionaries and Mentors, they also have contacts in their industry. They will be happy to help. If not, twist their F(silly)G arm and reward them generously when the first non-bouncing check comes in.

Lastly, remember that you can lead a client to Water, but you can\'t make him drink, even wine or beer: if he\'s a monoglot who is dead certain he knows the Foreignese word better than, then smile and thank him for his Help.

Good luck! Many colleagues have been put to death for excessive mastery of our trade.
[addsig]


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:09
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Loved your answer, Arthur! Sep 11, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-09-10 17:10, Arthur wrote:

At the outset, it\'s easiest to consider translation as a sideline: sell hamburgers on the nightshift all week long, without forgetting that you are destined for other (not necessarily \"better\" things).

Look at your \"social capital\". Is daddy a civil engineer or a pumpkin farmer? What about the aunts, cousins and neighbours in your life? What do they DO? These people are not only Living Dictionaries and Mentors, they also have contacts in their industry. They will be happy to help. If not, twist their F(silly)G arm and reward them generously when the first non-bouncing check comes in.

Lastly, remember that you can lead a client to Water, but you can\'t make him drink, even wine or beer: if he\'s a monoglot who is dead certain he knows the Foreignese word better than, then smile and thank him for his Help.

Good luck! Many colleagues have been put to death for excessive mastery of our trade.




[addsig]

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