Gaining initial experience in translation
Thread poster: Peter Kovacik
Peter Kovacik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:42
Arabic to English
Aug 17, 2015

I have been reading through the information on the website, and I would like to thank everyone for all of the helpful advice.

One question that I have not been able to find an answer for is whether it is necessary to have a certificate or master’s degree in Translation before entering the job market. I have a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, and I wonder if further education is necessary to begin gaining experience as a freelance translator. Actually, I plan to do a formal qualification in translation, but it would be nice to start working before graduation as many of the distance learning programs can take two or three years to complete.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The sooner you start, the better Aug 17, 2015

Peter Kovacik wrote:
Is it necessary to have a certificate or master’s degree in Translation before entering the job market?


No, you can enter the market with no qualifications whatsoever. However, some clients believe that higher qualifications make you a better translator, and some higher qualifications actually will make you a better translator. The best training a translator can get, however, is on-the-job training.

I plan to do a formal qualification in translation, but it would be nice to start working before graduation as many of the distance learning programs can take two or three years to complete.


It takes a while to build up a client base, so the sooner you start, the better.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Agree with Samuel Aug 17, 2015

There are many translators on this site, and elsewhere, who don't have any formal translation qualifications, so don't let the lack of training put you off starting.

However, I think a Master or similar in Translation Studies is very, very important for young translators starting out in the business. It can make the establishment of your business far easier and a lot quicker. You really don't have that much to offer clients, so a piece of paper is worth a lot. If you're coming to the business with 20 years as a doctor, lawyer... then you have the far weightier qualification of experience.


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Peter Kovacik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:42
Arabic to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Aug 17, 2015

Thank you both for the advice and encouragement in seeking opportunities to translate. Although I am still developing my translation skills, I find that participating in this website and taking other steps to develop a freelance business has produced a greater sense of urgency for me to progress as a translator.

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Gaining initial experience in translation

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