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Poll: How old were you when you became a professional translator?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 23:51
May 25, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How old were you when you became a professional translator?".

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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 02:51
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I was 48. May 25, 2007

When my last child went off to college, I took a year to write the thesis for my Seminary degree and then started my M.A. in Translation at the University of Puerto Rico. In my second semester I got my first "real" translation job and have been working ever since.

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:51
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
23 May 25, 2007

I'm eager to read about people who became a translator before they were 20. How did it all occur?

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Local time: 16:51
Italian to English
Exactly 20 May 25, 2007

I became a pro at 20, but I did my first interpreter work for my dad at 9. I am bilingual, my dad didn't speak English and he needed someone to explain his job accident case in an Australian court so he took me along. Later, after my HSC, I applied for a translation job at the University of Sydney, but they needed someone who would be willing to travel in the E.U. with a university exchange project now called AC21 and WUN projects. I accepted, became pro over the years in both interpreting and translations and the rest is history. I was very lucky indeed. Thank you Australia.


[Edited at 2007-05-25 21:53]

[Edited at 2007-05-25 21:55]

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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
At 22 May 25, 2007

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

I'm eager to read about people who became a translator before they were 20. How did it all occur?

I guess most university studies last at least 4 years (my case: I graduated from High School at 18 and after 4 years I graduated from the University).

I guess the poll is not only considering translators who have academic background. In that case, it can be possible: you finish High School at 18, (19or 20) and start working as a freelance translator. (Just guessing...)


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Bahram Salehi  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:21
German to English
+ ...
My age when I began professional translation for the first time. May 26, 2007

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

I'm eager to read about people who became a translator before they were 20. How did it all occur?

I became a translator when I was 19. It was quite by chance. I was a top student in the classroom and this made expectations on the part of my classmates to assist them in understanding the texts in English (and other languages).

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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:51
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Turned Full Time Freelancer @ 30 May 26, 2007

It's been a long journey.

I used to do translations for an NGO I worked with when I was 19 (still a student).

I started working as a part-time translator when I was 22. I was still a student but I used to work for a publishing house as a Freelancer. It was a good experience. And seeing from what some people charge for translating, even today, I'd say they paid ok.

In fact, the editors were really helpful and whenever one editor changed job, I had a new client. So things continued to evolve and so did I.

And turned full-time Freelance translator when I was 30 years old.

It was not easy. But I was really lucky. Many people have to struggle more than I did. And I always met people who were really helpful and supportive.

Of course, there was one who didn't pay... but then he is not worth mentioning... as today, he is a well-known non-payer... and translators avoid working with him. And I am still working.

[Edited at 2007-05-26 10:05]

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:51
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Becoming professional" was a long process May 26, 2007

and I don't know exactly when.

At 23, without being trained for it, I passed exams as a multilingual conference assistant at the local PCO.

There were next to no translation/interpretation schools and they were doing the training. Had me working 6 months a year and even sent me abroad for further training.

I took my postgrad in Spain and did practicum with the Health Ministry. The budget line item was shared with other research institutions.

When the line item was scrapped, the clients (government) set me up as a freelancer. Even taught me how to do the accounting. (Spain was entering the EU and had certain "convergence needs").

So when was professional here?

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