spanish teacher looking to start as a translator.
Thread poster: adriana215

adriana215
Spanish to English
Apr 15, 2010

Hello,

I am a Spanish teacher in Philadelphia, I also teach English from time to time, I am from Colombia, I moved here about four years ago, I have always loved languages, I got my degree in elementary school and it specializes in teaching Spanish, English and French languages. I do not speak French anymore since I have not really practiced since I moved here. I have always wanted to be a translator and now I really want to pursue my dream; I have been reading the Proz forum a lot to get tips and I have done some research online but I am a little confused how people can specialize in so many industries like I was looking at somebody’s profile and it said “law, tourism and medicine”. It just does not make any sense.

So I need a little help.

I know there are so many people out there with my language pair and they are certified and specialized in something, so what would people hire me for?

So I know I have a 5 year degree in education, I have also translated parts of documents that I needed for my thesis and it had to do with IT and I know a little bit about that subject, right now I do not remember what else I have done but it is mostly with education, so what could I translate? Where would I look for a job? Who would be my client?

I know I need to get certified if I really want to do this but I want to know if I have a chance before I spend money getting certified and buying software and all those expenses that will come later.


[Edited at 2010-04-16 00:10 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
First step is to learn to translate... Apr 16, 2010

...and in that sense you need to receive training in translation. Being bilingual is not enough to become a translator. I encourage you to take translation courses as the very first step. I am sure you will find options in Philadelphia, but there are also distance courses available from a number of schools and universities.

The courses will help you understand the work of a translator and will allow you to see whether you are really interested and capable of starting a successful career in an awfully competitive profession.

Attempting to get certified without actual training in translation would be a futile, expensive exercise, in my humble opinion. Certification exams are really difficult and plagued with little and big challenges you can only master after being active in translation for years.

Ideally, your selection of courses on translation should include training about translator tools and marketing for translators.

Good luck and welcome to our world!
Tomás


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:33
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Training first, job second Apr 16, 2010

adriana215 wrote:
I am a little confused how people can specialize in so many industries like I was looking at somebody’s profile and it said “law, tourism and medicine”. It just does not make any sense.


I quite agree, Adriana. It is difficult to see how anyone can specialise in areas so totally different as those.

I know there are so many people out there with my language pair and they are certified and specialized in something, so what would people hire me for?


They probably wouldn't at the moment - you first need to follow the advice Tomás has given and become a qualified translator.

So I know I have a 5 year degree in education, I have also translated parts of documents that I needed for my thesis and it had to do with IT and I know a little bit about that subject, right now I do not remember what else I have done but it is mostly with education, so what could I translate?


Only you know whether you have enough knowledge to translate IT texts, but I imagine texts concerning education would be a good possibility. Did/do you teach for business purposes? If so, maybe business texts could become a specialisation. Of course, whichever area you choose you'll need to do specific research and a lot of general reading (in all your working languages). One immediate thing to do would be to keep an eye on the KudoZ questions in your specific areas here on ProZ, to see if you have the knowledge to help others.

Where would I look for a job? Who would be my client?


I think those questions are for later. Maybe they will be addressed on any translation course you do, although they often aren't. When you start thinking of setting up a business, you'll need specific help and advice which is probably available in Philadelphia. There's also an awful lot of information here if you search through the "Getting Established" forum.

One small point: your profile says that you are (or want to be) a Spanish to English translator. As your native language is Spanish, it would be more logical to translate into it, rather than into a foreign language, however well you speak it. With uncommon pairs it is quite normal to work both ways but in your pairing you would be up against many, many native English speakers.

Good luck and stay around on ProZ even if you don't start working straight away.

Sheila


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:33
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Best to translate INTO your native language, Apr 16, 2010

as Sheila suggests, as that is your greatest strength. There are not many translators who are truly as proficient in their 2nd language as their first, and there are enough translators nowadays to take up any slack there may have been at one time in certain language combinations, except perhaps for very rare ones. In addition, the internet has changed everything.

Second, the subjects you know and/or like best are what is the most logical to focus on: In addition to education and IT, what are your hobbies, for example? It helps if there is a lot of written material on the subject matter you want to pursue, since you want to earn something, too. Then read, read, read in those fields and keep up with new trends. The internet makes that all possible without spending money on trade journals.

Besides taking courses, another suggestion is to do volunteer translating at first, to get some practice and references. There are probably many non-profit organizations that would like to have their websites, promotional material, etc. translated into Spanish. That could lead to paid work, either from the non-profits themselves or by word of mouth. Then there are translation agencies...

Welcome to ProZ, and good luck!


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:33
German to Spanish
+ ...
Spanish teacher looking to start as a translator. Apr 16, 2010

adriana215 wrote:

Hello,

I am a Spanish teacher in Philadelphia, I also teach English from time to time, I am from Colombia, I moved here about four years ago, I have always loved languages, I got my degree in elementary school and it specializes in teaching Spanish, English and French languages. I do not speak French anymore since I have not really practiced since I moved here. I have always wanted to be a translator and now I really want to pursue my dream; I have been reading the Proz forum a lot to get tips and I have done some research online but I am a little confused how people can specialize in so many industries like I was looking at somebody’s profile and it said “law, tourism and medicine”. It just does not make any sense.

So I need a little help.

I know there are so many people out there with my language pair and they are certified and specialized in something, so what would people hire me for?

So I know I have a 5 year degree in education, I have also translated parts of documents that I needed for my thesis and it had to do with IT and I know a little bit about that subject, right now I do not remember what else I have done but it is mostly with education, so what could I translate? Where would I look for a job? Who would be my client?

I know I need to get certified if I really want to do this but I want to know if I have a chance before I spend money getting certified and buying software and all those expenses that will come later.


[Edited at 2010-04-16 00:10 GMT]


http://www.proz.com/forum/professional_development/162751-starting_a_career_in_translation.html#1371290


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

spanish teacher looking to start as a translator.

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search