Questions on getting into the field of translating/interpreting
Thread poster: Etain
Mar 9, 2013

I am currently in highschool and interested in finding work as an interpreter in the future. I would like information on what training/education is required to be an interpreter and how to start out in the field.
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance


 

Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:22
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
There are several options Jun 10, 2013

Hi Etain,

Glad to know you! It's always a pleasure to meet the next generation!

In order to become a translator/intertpreter, you have many options such as:

1. Study a foreign language (or more). I studied "applied foreign languages" (LEA-Langues Etrangères Appliquées in French) for five years in a French university. Here you will learn two foreign languages in more practical way, methodes of translation and interpreting, business environment, law, management, etc. You can also choose to focus more on only one specific language in order to be perfect in this one such as "Chinese Studies", "German Studies", etc.

2. Translation studies. When you already know and are really good at at least two languages, you can take a course in translation/interpreting studies (usually in Master's degree) in order to learn about methodes and art of the profession.

3. Schools of translators/interpreters. There are well known school of translators/interpreters in almost every country. It is usually more difficult to get into these schools but often give a better chance to have a good job in the future.

4. I also know a lot of people specialising in a completely different field such as law, marketing, biology, medical working in the translation industry. Rich experience and a deep understanding in a specific field also sells.

But keep in mind that school is not everything. The market is now really competitive. In order to get a job, you have to gain as much experience as you can by specialising, living abroad or doing your internship in an international organisation or an NGO, etc. These aspects will help you to stand out of the crown.

[Edited at 2013-06-10 06:12 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:22
English to Polish
+ ...
For interpreters Jun 10, 2013

Etain wrote:

I am currently in highschool and interested in finding work as an interpreter in the future. I would like information on what training/education is required to be an interpreter and how to start out in the field.
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance


Etain, if you'd like to be an interpreter, I'd suggest applied linguistics or philology (or actually both if you can get credit for any overlapping subjects), followed by a European Master's in Conference Interpreting, and you're free to offer your services to the EUSSR for some really good pay (eventually). That also comes with plenty of respect in the translation world, possibly enabling some really lucrative contracts from commercial clients. Learn something about the fields you'll be translating in, but above all practice, practice, practice.

... For example, I'm a translator, not an interpreter. Actually, strictly speaking, I'm a sworn interpreter, and I've also aced some exams at a post-Master's level. I appeared to have a wider vocabulary and/or better reaction time than anybody else, including actual interpeters. Still, my cabin time in my entire lifetime doesn't exceed a couple of hours, and my short-term memory and other job-relevant skills are still in their infancy at best. I wouldn't be able to interpret seriously for any serious business applications. The trick is to have many, many hours of cabin time logged before you actually hit the pavement. Cabin time or some other practical training time at university. That's absolutely crucial if you want to be an interpreter.

You also need to be a very fast, intuitive speaker and have complete comprehension of everything you hear, including some really advanced subjects and some really strange accents or even awful grammar, syntax and style from both native speakers and non-native speakers (both of whom speak horribly, just in a different way of being horrible). You can't be C1, you can't even simply be C2, you need to be way more fluent than most educated native speakers of the languages you interpret. That apart from superb memory and some really quick wit. And you need to train your voice. At least if you want to be good at the job (and quote higher rates; a trained voice is an obvious indication of professionalism that inspires confidence in your clients).

As a translator, you'd also need fluency, but of a different kind, and with more emphasis on correctness. You'd be practicing good writing rather than memory or voice or phonetics. And yes, interpreters need some really good phonetics, even if they don't need to sound 100% native. As a translator, you can have a poor accent and stress, but you'd still better not due to how your clients are going to rate you after talking to you on the phone or listening to you at a conference. Anyway, most modern linguists would say that translators are first of all writers. I say heck no, they are first of all exegetes, just like lawyers (which was my own first job). At any rate, you need precision and reflection, which makes the job different from interpreting. Actually, rush jobs in translation are similar to simultaneous interpreting, but if you tried to translate the same way as you would interpret consecutively, you'd be doing a suboptimal job. I actually suspect that the reason some translators disappoint (and they disappoint me personally more than they do most modern linguists) is that they take an approach similar to consecutive interpreting, which basically means they're summarising the text. No way.

This said, while you need solid formation in terms of language – and I'd really consider philological studies rather than applied linguistics, or, better still, applied linguistics in addition to philology – you also need to know your field. Superb writing is great but isn't worth much in practice when its content is not the same as that of the source text. This is a problem largely ignored and neglected in the modern translation industry, but clients aren't as happy to ignore comprehension issues in favourite of nice writing as translation activists are.

If you want to be a great law translator, I'd get a law degree (at which point it may pay more to practice law rather, depending on your country) or at least sit down with a lawyer to help you pick the subjects which are the most critical to make you understand what you're reading and writing (which you can then study from books or just attend informally or use webinars or something). Medicine for medicine (just like medical lawyers sometimes get an MD in addition to their JD). And so on and so forth. There are some fields in which you just can't really do without extensive training.

You'd do well to do some planning now. If you think about what you would like to be doing in the future, i.e. what you'd like to be translating or interpreting in some 10 years from now, you'll do yourself a great favour compared to just going along with the average M.A. curriculum somewhere.

Edit: I know what I'm talking about. I'm actually one of those people who entered the translation world without a degree in the field, although I was a bit of a special case. I always read a lot, learnt several languages at a time, was particularly strong at both grammar and literature, a history buff and so on. I ended up in a grammar school (highschool in American parlance, a lycée, basically), which was basically the kindergarten for future students of classical philology, which is what about 1/3 of my classmates went on to study (other philologies were also popular).

We translated Latin without a dictionary at some point, cramming like six pages of Greek vocabulary per week, wrote dictations in French in which we lost an entire grade for a single accent gone wrong (so yeah, it was possible to fail the entire test on one word alone)... oh, and there was English, right. I'd relied more on private lessons for that one, all the time (and literature, and computer games and other software). Also learnt German before. Also, in law school, I spent most of my free time online. I was a news editor and subsequently head news editor on an English-speaking international portal. Most of my friends and, heck, even girlfriends, didn't speak Polish at all. English might well have been my dominant language during that time in my life.

When I eventually decided to make the lateral move from legal services, I got translation jobs because law degrees are respected in general, as was my university, and because my clients quickly found out that I was the next bext thing to hiring a native speaker (for 3 times the price) or in some cases the better thing. I also delivered better results than people with Master's degrees in English. I was more correct, more exacting, had a lighter pen, could use semi-colloquial marketing language. There was probably an air of mystery to a lawyer suddenly deciding to become a translator. It probably sold well. Who knows. I definitely owe much to word of mouth and friendly recommendations from more senior colleagues, who even either gave me jobs or inducted me into projects (Polish translator-agency relations are more informal than in the English-speaking translation world).

In fact, I eventually took a post-Master's at the Institute of Applied Linguistics of my alma mater, the same that non-translator philologists or linguists (e.g. teachers) also had to take in order to become translators. So I'm no longer really the guy without a degree (not that I learnt too many new things).

But at the end of the day, I'll tell you that if you already know you want to be a translator, you should get some really good formal education in language. If you look at my biography, I'm precisely the kind of exception that proves the rule (as I could outlinguist the linguists, well, most of them, surely not the best ones, but definitely the rank and file). Get a philological degree even. You need to know about the language, not only about its applications. You need some Latin. You need some historical grammar. You need some philosophy. You need history. That you also need business knowledge (in most cases, though there are translators who just do technology or medicine all the time, or literature) is another matter. Prepare yourself for a lot of education.

... And for a lot of undereppreciation of your education and your degrees. The translation world can be incredibly rude at times, with some guys without much schooling talking to you as if you were their house servant or farmhand (i.e. better than you talk to service personnel when on holidays or at a restaurant table), while in the old social class system you would probably actually outrank them by quite a margin to begin with. My law degree and experience gives me an advantage in dealing with those people, but it can be crushing for a twenty-something girl with fresh ink on her B.A. (unless she's worked as a waitress before or something). Cram hard, so that you can be outstanding and desirable, then clients and agencies will respect you more, and you will be able to send a couple of them away if they won't be polite.

[Edited at 2013-06-10 17:28 GMT]


 

Etain
TOPIC STARTER
Certifications Jun 11, 2013

Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT wrote:

Hi Etain,

Glad to know you! It's always a pleasure to meet the next generation!

In order to become a translator/intertpreter, you have many options such as:

1. Study a foreign language (or more). I studied "applied foreign languages" (LEA-Langues Etrangères Appliquées in French) for five years in a French university. Here you will learn two foreign languages in more practical way, methodes of translation and interpreting, business environment, law, management, etc. You can also choose to focus more on only one specific language in order to be perfect in this one such as "Chinese Studies", "German Studies", etc.

2. Translation studies. When you already know and are really good at at least two languages, you can take a course in translation/interpreting studies (usually in Master's degree) in order to learn about methodes and art of the profession.

3. Schools of translators/interpreters. There are well known school of translators/interpreters in almost every country. It is usually more difficult to get into these schools but often give a better chance to have a good job in the future.

4. I also know a lot of people specialising in a completely different field such as law, marketing, biology, medical working in the translation industry. Rich experience and a deep understanding in a specific field also sells.

But keep in mind that school is not everything. The market is now really competitive. In order to get a job, you have to gain as much experience as you can by specialising, living abroad or doing your internship in an international organisation or an NGO, etc. These aspects will help you to stand out of the crown.

[Edited at 2013-06-10 06:12 GMT]


Thanks for the help ! Do hold any proficiency certifications in French ? If so, is this very helpful in getting a job ?


 

Etain
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 11, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

Etain wrote:

I am currently in highschool and interested in finding work as an interpreter in the future. I would like information on what training/education is required to be an interpreter and how to start out in the field.
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance


Etain, if you'd like to be an interpreter, I'd suggest applied linguistics or philology (or actually both if you can get credit for any overlapping subjects), followed by a European Master's in Conference Interpreting, and you're free to offer your services to the EUSSR for some really good pay (eventually). That also comes with plenty of respect in the translation world, possibly enabling some really lucrative contracts from commercial clients. Learn something about the fields you'll be translating in, but above all practice, practice, practice.

....

... And for a lot of undereppreciation of your education and your degrees. The translation world can be incredibly rude at times, with some guys without much schooling talking to you as if you were their house servant or farmhand (i.e. better than you talk to service personnel when on holidays or at a restaurant table), while in the old social class system you would probably actually outrank them by quite a margin to begin with. My law degree and experience gives me an advantage in dealing with those people, but it can be crushing for a twenty-something girl with fresh ink on her B.A. (unless she's worked as a waitress before or something). Cram hard, so that you can be outstanding and desirable, then clients and agencies will respect you more, and you will be able to send a couple of them away if they won't be polite.

[Edited at 2013-06-10 17:28 GMT]


Thank you. I'm glad to hear Latin knowledge will be helpful as I took two years of it in my school until they cut it,though I don't know if it will help me for Japanese. Same for linguistics,I've always had a strong interest in it and have read a few books mainly on comparative linguistics. Is translation a very high stress field to be in ?


 

Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:22
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
Just my Master's degree Jun 20, 2013

Hi again Etain,

Sorry for the late reply.
I only have my Master's degree and it's written in French.
I am also applying to be a SWORN translator in France but the procedure takes quite long, but I do not need that to do what I do anyway.
I have level 3 in Japanese Language Proficiency Test, I have also taken TOEIC and TOEFL for English and TCF, DELF and DALF for French, but I don't think they are so useful though (at least not for this stage), they are laying in my drawers nowadays...

So how is it going? Have you picked something?


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:22
English to Polish
+ ...
Depends Jun 20, 2013

Etain wrote:

Thank you. I'm glad to hear Latin knowledge will be helpful as I took two years of it in my school until they cut it,though I don't know if it will help me for Japanese. Same for linguistics,I've always had a strong interest in it and have read a few books mainly on comparative linguistics. Is translation a very high stress field to be in ?


Latin will help you in everything you do in an educated life, really.icon_smile.gif

As for your last question, it depends. For me, it depends on the texts and sometimes on the client and a couple of other things. But usually it's a high-stress job. The problem is exacerbated by how disrespected translators are in general. The expectations are huge, so is the responsibility and even the sheer mental and physical strain connected with the focus required (it's literally possible to forget your own name), but the pay is poor, the social perception is that translators are sort of training dummies for everybody to take it out on, there's plenty of patronising and sweatshop mentality, and even written documents can address us in rude language. When the foregoing combines with the stress, then it's really hard to enjoy life.

Still, you just might find better than standard fare in Japanese translation due to the impenetrability of the language and largely also the culture to most Europeans and Americans. Even so, I suppose you might eventually experience the feeling of being that little native interpreter fetched by His This or That Majesty's frigate and regarded little better than the shoe-cleaning boy.

I can't tell you where that kind of attitude comes from, especially given how aristocratic and actually attractive (as in, boys and girls kind of attractive) the fluent command of a foreign language appears to people. That appreciation is not always and perhaps not usually (and perhaps scarcely at all) transferred onto translators and interpreters.

Not that this should prevent you from pursuing your vocation, wherever it lies. You should just know what kind of treatment you can expect sometimes. Not like there aren't brighter days.


 

Etain
TOPIC STARTER
JLPT Jul 19, 2013

Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT wrote:

Hi again Etain,

Sorry for the late reply.
I only have my Master's degree and it's written in French.
I am also applying to be a SWORN translator in France but the procedure takes quite long, but I do not need that to do what I do anyway.
I have level 3 in Japanese Language Proficiency Test, I have also taken TOEIC and TOEFL for English and TCF, DELF and DALF for French, but I don't think they are so useful though (at least not for this stage), they are laying in my drawers nowadays...

So how is it going? Have you picked something?


Not yet. I still plan on going for Japanese and taking N5 or N4 for the JLPT. I'm glad to hear you have a good knowledge of Japanese too ! I can recognize around one hundred kanji at the moment. Now though, I'm thinking of studying Chinese since I have a little knowledge already. It's a cliche, but I want a job where I can get to travel the world, make friends with people from other countries, I hope there are chances for field work.
Do employers and universities look for language certifications ?

[Edited at 2013-07-19 06:36 GMT]


 

Etain
TOPIC STARTER
Didn't know that ! Jul 19, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

Etain wrote:

Thank you. I'm glad to hear Latin knowledge will be helpful as I took two years of it in my school until they cut it,though I don't know if it will help me for Japanese. Same for linguistics,I've always had a strong interest in it and have read a few books mainly on comparative linguistics. Is translation a very high stress field to be in ?


Latin will help you in everything you do in an educated life, really.icon_smile.gif

As for your last question, it depends. For me, it depends on the texts and sometimes on the client and a couple of other things. But usually it's a high-stress job. The problem is exacerbated by how disrespected translators are in general. The expectations are huge, so is the responsibility and even the sheer mental and physical strain connected with the focus required (it's literally possible to forget your own name), but the pay is poor, the social perception is that translators are sort of training dummies for everybody to take it out on, there's plenty of patronising and sweatshop mentality, and even written documents can address us in rude language. When the foregoing combines with the stress, then it's really hard to enjoy life.

Still, you just might find better than standard fare in Japanese translation due to the impenetrability of the language and largely also the culture to most Europeans and Americans. Even so, I suppose you might eventually experience the feeling of being that little native interpreter fetched by His This or That Majesty's frigate and regarded little better than the shoe-cleaning boy.

I can't tell you where that kind of attitude comes from, especially given how aristocratic and actually attractive (as in, boys and girls kind of attractive) the fluent command of a foreign language appears to people. That appreciation is not always and perhaps not usually (and perhaps scarcely at all) transferred onto translators and interpreters.

Not that this should prevent you from pursuing your vocation, wherever it lies. You should just know what kind of treatment you can expect sometimes. Not like there aren't brighter days.


wow ! I'm really surprised that's what some translators get. I had thought would be be treated well, considering it's often a high skill, high importance job. More so today than ever. I'm guessing there's lot of chain smokers in this business. Did you work in a large company ? Are these the kind of employers that mistreat translators ?


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:22
English to Polish
+ ...
I already have it much lighter than most others Jul 19, 2013

Etain wrote:

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

Etain wrote:

Thank you. I'm glad to hear Latin knowledge will be helpful as I took two years of it in my school until they cut it,though I don't know if it will help me for Japanese. Same for linguistics,I've always had a strong interest in it and have read a few books mainly on comparative linguistics. Is translation a very high stress field to be in ?


Latin will help you in everything you do in an educated life, really.icon_smile.gif

As for your last question, it depends. For me, it depends on the texts and sometimes on the client and a couple of other things. But usually it's a high-stress job. The problem is exacerbated by how disrespected translators are in general. The expectations are huge, so is the responsibility and even the sheer mental and physical strain connected with the focus required (it's literally possible to forget your own name), but the pay is poor, the social perception is that translators are sort of training dummies for everybody to take it out on, there's plenty of patronising and sweatshop mentality, and even written documents can address us in rude language. When the foregoing combines with the stress, then it's really hard to enjoy life.

Still, you just might find better than standard fare in Japanese translation due to the impenetrability of the language and largely also the culture to most Europeans and Americans. Even so, I suppose you might eventually experience the feeling of being that little native interpreter fetched by His This or That Majesty's frigate and regarded little better than the shoe-cleaning boy.

I can't tell you where that kind of attitude comes from, especially given how aristocratic and actually attractive (as in, boys and girls kind of attractive) the fluent command of a foreign language appears to people. That appreciation is not always and perhaps not usually (and perhaps scarcely at all) transferred onto translators and interpreters.

Not that this should prevent you from pursuing your vocation, wherever it lies. You should just know what kind of treatment you can expect sometimes. Not like there aren't brighter days.


wow ! I'm really surprised that's what some translators get. I had thought would be be treated well, considering it's often a high skill, high importance job. More so today than ever. I'm guessing there's lot of chain smokers in this business. Did you work in a large company ? Are these the kind of employers that mistreat translators ?


I have a law degree with a high grade and a bunch of other law schooling, plus my CV has litigation written all over it. In my experience, this inspires a lot of respect, while it also induces people to get their act together and take their worst somewhere else. Not to mention that vile contracts and lawsuit threats just don't work on me. I'd probably say something like: 'bring it on, I've been missing a good one,' and they'd sense I weren't joking, which would creep them off. I could actually get some pretty scary signatures on pretty scary firm paper pretty fast, but it would reinvigorate me to give them (and all their lawyers) a good workout personally, which would be a lot more fun than I'd be willing to admit... Plus, I have a thicker skin than some.

On the other hand, my dear highschool friend, an ItalianPolish and FrenchPolish translator (with at least C2 English, good enough to make it a third working language and Latin fourth, but she chose not to) once had to spend a night moving tables around for someone who wanted pixel-perfect formatting on the basis of a scan (she's currently leaving the profession in favour of her newly founded business in international trade; incidentally, a client of mine). Another female translator was forced to work from the labour ward. I could tell stories of abuse like that for hours, but what I know is only the tip of the iceberg, as I've only been in for 4 years and not socialising much.

A while ago, I delivered a conference speech which you can see in my profile. Yes, the title really was 'Zombie Contracts 101'. Zombie contracts are a universal plague, and it's really hard to find an agency with a contract signable without serious amendments. Some go beyond disadvantageous terms and actually use humiliating, rude language. A celebrated BlueBoard outsourcer with 5.0 average out of 100-200 opinions from translators has it written in its standard contract that translators should carefully choose their tone of voice when talking to clients and PMs (and be service-minded and all). There are also traps and litigation bait, just to set the translator up in a legal situation he can't win – usually involving this or that form of hold harmless, indemnity or guarantee. I don't know where all those drafters are coming from or what they are thinking.

Find a different job unless you really believe translation is your calling. Or unless have what it takes to survive in it.


 

Etain
TOPIC STARTER
I am not sure yet Jul 19, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

Etain wrote:

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

Etain wrote:

Thank you. I'm glad to hear Latin knowledge will be helpful as I took two years of it in my school until they cut it,though I don't know if it will help me for Japanese. Same for linguistics,I've always had a strong interest in it and have read a few books mainly on comparative linguistics. Is translation a very high stress field to be in ?


Latin will help you in everything you do in an educated life, really.icon_smile.gif

As for your last question, it depends. For me, it depends on the texts and sometimes on the client and a couple of other things. But usually it's a high-stress job. The problem is exacerbated by how disrespected translators are in general. The expectations are huge, so is the responsibility and even the sheer mental and physical strain connected with the focus required (it's literally possible to forget your own name), but the pay is poor, the social perception is that translators are sort of training dummies for everybody to take it out on, there's plenty of patronising and sweatshop mentality, and even written documents can address us in rude language. When the foregoing combines with the stress, then it's really hard to enjoy life.

Still, you just might find better than standard fare in Japanese translation due to the impenetrability of the language and largely also the culture to most Europeans and Americans. Even so, I suppose you might eventually experience the feeling of being that little native interpreter fetched by His This or That Majesty's frigate and regarded little better than the shoe-cleaning boy.

I can't tell you where that kind of attitude comes from, especially given how aristocratic and actually attractive (as in, boys and girls kind of attractive) the fluent command of a foreign language appears to people. That appreciation is not always and perhaps not usually (and perhaps scarcely at all) transferred onto translators and interpreters.

Not that this should prevent you from pursuing your vocation, wherever it lies. You should just know what kind of treatment you can expect sometimes. Not like there aren't brighter days.


wow ! I'm really surprised that's what some translators get. I had thought would be be treated well, considering it's often a high skill, high importance job. More so today than ever. I'm guessing there's lot of chain smokers in this business. Did you work in a large company ? Are these the kind of employers that mistreat translators ?


I have a law degree with a high grade and a bunch of other law schooling, plus my CV has litigation written all over it. In my experience, this inspires a lot of respect, while it also induces people to get their act together and take their worst somewhere else. Not to mention that vile contracts and lawsuit threats just don't work on me. I'd probably say something like: 'bring it on, I've been missing a good one,' and they'd sense I weren't joking, which would creep them off. I could actually get some pretty scary signatures on pretty scary firm paper pretty fast, but it would reinvigorate me to give them (and all their lawyers) a good workout personally, which would be a lot more fun than I'd be willing to admit... Plus, I have a thicker skin than some.

On the other hand, my dear highschool friend, an ItalianPolish and FrenchPolish translator (with at least C2 English, good enough to make it a third working language and Latin fourth, but she chose not to) once had to spend a night moving tables around for someone who wanted pixel-perfect formatting on the basis of a scan (she's currently leaving the profession in favour of her newly founded business in international trade; incidentally, a client of mine). Another female translator was forced to work from the labour ward. I could tell stories of abuse like that for hours, but what I know is only the tip of the iceberg, as I've only been in for 4 years and not socialising much.

A while ago, I delivered a conference speech which you can see in my profile. Yes, the title really was 'Zombie Contracts 101'. Zombie contracts are a universal plague, and it's really hard to find an agency with a contract signable without serious amendments. Some go beyond disadvantageous terms and actually use humiliating, rude language. A celebrated BlueBoard outsourcer with 5.0 average out of 100-200 opinions from translators has it written in its standard contract that translators should carefully choose their tone of voice when talking to clients and PMs (and be service-minded and all). There are also traps and litigation bait, just to set the translator up in a legal situation he can't win – usually involving this or that form of hold harmless, indemnity or guarantee. I don't know where all those drafters are coming from or what they are thinking.

Find a different job unless you really believe translation is your calling. Or unless have what it takes to survive in it.


This sounds really interesting. I think you ought to write a book about all of this. I'm researching all of my options. I want to do something in the humanities and foreign language, though this sounds like something requiring a LOT of stamina. So you work in translating written documents, right ? Hvae you done anything in a foreign country ? Like field work ?


 

Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:22
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
Tried learning Chinese, too xD May 23, 2014

Haha, yes, it seems like a cliche now that people who understand Japanese try to learn Chinese. I gave it a shot too but didn't work out as well as I had expected ><

I'm working for a couple of big translation agencies (well, you can't actually tell whether they are big as you have never actually met them, I'm working only from home so far). No one ever asked for language certificates. Well, sometimes they ask which level of JLPT do you have but they never really asked to see the copy of the document. What people do ask from time to time is the diploma of the Master's degree.


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:22
German to English
+ ...
Master's in Translation/Interpretation May 23, 2014

Hi Etain,

I see that you are in the United States. In case you would like to pursue an advanced degree in interpreting (and/or translation), it's worth checking out my alma mater, Monterey Institute of International Studies:

http://www.miis.edu/academics/programs/translationinterpretation

The route I took was a BA in German, then an MA in Translation at MIIS, then a translation job in Germany, then freelancing. The MA is fairly expensive, but really no more so than any other well-regarded university program in the US.

Also, it may seem early to start thinking about grad school, but in fact it's not: To get accepted at MIIS, you have to be a near-native speaker of your foreign language. I started learning German only at the age of 16, and it took me three years of living in German-speaking countries before my level was acceptable for admission.

Just some food for thought!


 


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