More language pairs or additional services? Which is better?
Thread poster: cathm
cathm
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
German to English
+ ...
Jan 29, 2013

I am studying a masters in translation and there are several areas in which one can specialize. For example, subtitling, audio description, voice-overs, visual communication (web page design, media management) and language technology (CAT tools and localization tools).
My question is, is it better to be able to offer more languages or is the market demanding more of the above types of services?


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:43
Member
Italian to English
Be good at what you do Jan 29, 2013

My advice is to go with what you are good at and what you do well. There are a lot of translators out there, but word of mouth plays a big part in getting jobs, at least in my language pair. Decide what you want to do and be good at doing what you offer. You will build up a reputation for being a solid and reliable professional, and people will come to you with work.

The more you enjoy something, you better you will be at it. So if your passion is Arabic, or Spanish, and you feel you can dedicate enough energies to making a living or earning well in whatever language you choose, then great! Do it. The same goes with areas of specialisation; there's a lot of money to be made in most fields if you can become knowledgeable enough. But building up that knowledge takes time and perseverance. And it is difficult to give your all to an area you hate. I began specialising in legal texts, until the Italian legalese became utterly draining. But there are many expert legal translators out there who love these texts and thrive on this particular subject area.

Do what you are passionate about, and do it well. Doing something you don't like just because you think it will pay well is unwise, IMHO.

Best of luck whatever you decide.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:43
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Fiona Jan 29, 2013

And I would add that, given the massive amounts of time involved in learning a language to a level where one can even begin to think about translating it at an acceptably professional level, one had best consider the manner with utmost sobriety and level-headnedness.

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:43
Russian to English
+ ...
Definitely more services in one language pair. Jan 29, 2013

It is much better in my opinion to know two language almost to perfection and offer more services in that language pair, that has just a taste of another language, or languages, and offer unprofessional, or mediocre quality service in two or more language pairs. If you already know some other languages well -- really well, you can translate from more than one language.

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cathm
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply about language pairs or services Jan 30, 2013

Many thanks for your advice. I think you are right to focus on what you do well and also what you enjoy, just wondering about it, as the course I am on offers so much and it is difficult to choose.

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