Need suggestions for the next step on my translation career path
Thread poster: r3amo

r3amo
United States
Local time: 00:58
English to Romanian
+ ...
May 15, 2013

I am struggling with my career path in translation. I am a Romanian citizen and I have a three years degree in translation. While I am a Romanian native speaker I studied English and French in college. I have no experience in translation except some little volunteer work. I spent one year and half in USA, as an au pair, because I wanted to improve my English, and the plan was to go back home and enroll in a Master and work as a translator. Things didn't go according my plans and I got married a couple of months ago to my American husband.

My experience in USA helped to check up very much on slang and be much more fluent but this is all. I have always dreamed about a glooming career in language field. I have a strong affinity for the legal translations too. I know this just from some classes I took in college. My American host family is a lawyer and we had numerous discussions about different trials and legal issues.

I would like to study some more, and to equivalate my studies in USA. I don’t know anything about any language school here or online programs. I am interested in some affordable study programs and if possible online ones. I am clueless about my next career step and I am not sure where I can look for some guidance. Any advice will be strongly appreciated.


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2013-05-15 15:48 GMT]




Thank you all for your answers and for your patience.

Atil, I live in Charleston, West Virginia. This place has many chemical plants and lawyers. Almost all my friends are either lawyers or engineers.

I would like to work at a translation agency, doing translations while I have a supervisor, someone who can help me to improve and develop my skills as a translator. This is what I would like to do, but I am not aware of any translation agencies around here.

Sheila, thank you for your advice. I have a Bachelor degree in Applied Modern Languages (English-French), while my native language is Romanian. I studied at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania (Accredited Public University).

My husband and I have to live in Charleston, West Virginia for the next two years due to his job. Hopefully, at the end of these two years we will be able to move to a bigger city, somewhere on the East Coast or even down South.

Yes, I am free to choose what to work. I cannot say the same about the studying part. It can be extremely expensive to study in USA.

My main strengths. I need to admit this is a hard question. I am meticulous, hard worker, ambitious. I love doing research, reading, anything that keeps my brain working. So with my degree and my preferences I think being a translator would fit me. Now, where to start and how to gain effective experience? I don’t know.





[Edited at 2013-05-16 14:51 GMT]


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:58
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Where May 15, 2013

has my answer disappeared?

I'll write my answer again:

I would get certified.

Contact a local court or the ATA to find out more about the state certification for legal interpreters.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2013-05-15 17:00 GMT]


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:58
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
A Couple of Q's May 15, 2013

Congratulations on your marriage. I think a couple of questions are in order at this point:

Where are you located in the States (city, state)? US is a fairly large country. If you tell us where you are, it might help. We do not need your address or anything, just city & state.

What would you LIKE to do now if you were given a chance? This is important because it is YOU who should finally decide what to do next. I know it is hard to decide.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm rather confused May 15, 2013

You say that you're Romanian, yet you post a language pair of French to English??? Those were the languages you studied, I accept that, and the au-pair job was definitely a good move towards total English fluency, but the language you write best in must surely be Romanian. Isn't that right? To be honest, I have to say that you should not be translating into English. Your post is fine, you're Romanian after all, but it does show every sign of being written by a non-English speaker. I'm absolutely sure your English is good enough to be a source language, but you need to translate into Romanian.

Like Atil, I believe we need to more about you to better advise you on a career path. What exactly is your degree in, and where did you study for it? What do you see as your main strength(s)? Where do you want to live and/or work in the near future? Are you free to choose whether to work or to study? Is the master in translation now a total impossibility for you? Is it written translation that interests you most, or do you see yourself as an interpreter? These are just some of the questions you need to consider answers to.


 

NataliaAnne  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:58
Portuguese to English
Totally agree with Sheila May 16, 2013

We definitely need more information to be able to help you.

(You might also consider completing your Proz.com profile.)


 

r3amo
United States
Local time: 00:58
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
career path May 16, 2013

Thank you all for your answers and for your patience.

Atil, I live in Charleston, West Virginia. This place has many chemical plants and lawyers. Almost all my friends are either lawyers or engineers.

I would like to work at a translation agency, doing translations while I have a supervisor, someone who can help me to improve and develop my skills as a translator. This is what I would like to do, but I am not aware of any translation agencies around here.

Sheila, thank you for your advice. I have a Bachelor degree in Applied Modern Languages (English-French), while my native language is Romanian. I studied at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania (Accredited Public University).

My husband and I have to live in Charleston, West Virginia for the next two years due to his job. Hopefully, at the end of these two years we will be able to move to a bigger city, somewhere on the East Coast or even down South.

Yes, I am free to choose what to work. I cannot say the same about the studying part. It can be extremely expensive to study in USA.

My main strengths. I need to admit this is a hard question. I am meticulous, hard worker, ambitious. I love doing research, reading, anything that keeps my brain working. So with my degree and my preferences I think being a translator would fit me. Now, where to start and how to gain effective experience? I don’t know.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some ideas May 16, 2013

Thanks for the extra information. I agree with NataliaAnne that a full profile will help enormously - but I suspect you're already working on that.

A few things spring to mind:

- An in-house apprenticeship would obviously be great; but hundreds (maybe thousands) of new translators would like one of those. If you can't find one, how about joining the ProZ.com mentor programme? An experienced translator in your pair(s) would take you under their wing, providing you with both work and feedback.

- It's quite possible to do a translation MA by distance learning, although I daresay you might have to travel to do exams or whatever. There have been various discussions on the topic here.

- As well as possible translator training, you will also need to think about your specialisations, and study these in both/all of your languages - formally or informally - so that you can cope with the jargon in both source and target. And of course you must make sure your other languages don't become out of date through living in America - keep reading a lot in Romanian.

- The ATA probably have various aids in place for new translators. You should look into joining that. (I see Diana already suggested that.)

- As a translator, where you live has almost no impact on where your clients are (although it is important for interpreters and in-house work, of course). I can personally vouch for that as I moved from France to Spain and only lost one client, being the only one who lived within visiting distance - many aren't in France themselves and weren't at all bothered when I moved. Of course, there are complications in terms of time differences, currencies, banking systems, debt recovery... but these can all be managed. So I'm sure Charleston doesn't have to be a disadvantage.

- Use ProZ.com to the full to help launch your freelance career. The site is full of help: forums like this one, everything under the education tab (webinars, articles, Wiki...), but start with the Site Guidance Centre: http://www.proz.com/guidance-center . Make sure you click on everything so you don't miss any of the features. You'll find out how best to write your profile, gain visibility, market your services, etc.

Then come back with any further queries when you have a better idea of what you want to do.


 


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