How to start translating?
Thread poster: red13matt

red13matt
Local time: 01:09
French to English
+ ...
Mar 18, 2017

Dear all

I am currently translating for a few small websites from Fr to En.

I wanted to expand my work and try to gain more experience and tp increase my portfolio. I wondered what the best way for this is. Although I don't have a specific qualification in translation, I have studied it at university. I know I can't be a sworn translator but that is not my aim. My aim is to try and make a living from translating as my current experience has shown me that it is actually quite fun yet challenging.

I am currently using LILT CAT tool too, which I have found to be great.

Many thanks for all your help!


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
First, introduce yourself Mar 20, 2017

As a former & future professor of translators, and given my 26 years of experience, I think I can throw a few bits of advice that you might find helpful. Or not.

1) Introduce yourself: that means your actual name, no nicknames, should appear on your CV, your Proz profile, your LinkedIn profile, etc.
2) Use your CV as a starting point to figure out your strengths and weaknesses (i.e., what you know and what you don't know)
3) The very first step to translating is reading regularly, followed by writing regularly.

You are as good a translator as your latest writing. Blog for yourself, write a journal, practice writing a white paper or some other format. Write, write, write. Develop the attitude of welcoming criticism, good, bad or random.

Good luck!


 
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astukas
Germany
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
When and how I am going to be ready to start Dec 6, 2017

Hello,

my native language is lithuanian.
My english is probably in level B2/2
German B2
I am studying spanish, level - B2/2

Surely I dont feel ready to start translating, but at the same time I am asking.. how can I get to that point?
Are there any courses that not only help to improve your language skills but also prepare you to do translations?

Thank you!
A.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Welcome, astukas Dec 7, 2017

astukas wrote:

Hello,

my native language is lithuanian.
My english is probably in level B2/2
German B2
I am studying spanish, level - B2/2

Surely I dont feel ready to start translating, but at the same time I am asking.. how can I get to that point?
Are there any courses that not only help to improve your language skills but also prepare you to do translations?

Thank you!
A.


Sorry to be late. To answer your question, translation is mainly about writing, and writing exceedingly well. I can't emphasize this fact enough: you don't write well, no matter the language, then don't translate.

You still are a student, right? Well, but you started writing at a younger age, I presume? What is the quality of your writing? Don't trust your own opinion. What have others said about your writing? That's what counts.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Keep learning for the moment Dec 7, 2017

astukas wrote:
my native language is lithuanian.
My english is probably in level B2/2
German B2
I am studying spanish, level - B2/2

Those levels are rather low for a translator, I'm afraid. B2 may be OK for writing and speaking skills, although borderline in English as that's so often the language of communication with clients. But for reading and listening skills you really need to have a level of at least C1, IMHO. Plus you need an awful lot of general and cultural knowledge about the people that speak the language. Those grades won't reflect your level of comprehension in specific subject areas (medical, legal, scientific, technical, marketing...), as only general language is tested. They rarely even test you on your knowledge of idiomatic and regional expressions. Unfortunately, the most general, "easy" texts are being handled more and more by automatic translation software, backed up by low-paid editors where necessary. The results are often poor, but free or nearly free. A professional translator needs to be able to offer something that's still worth paying for, and will be worth paying for now and a young translator needs to think about 10-20 years from now.

If you can spend some decent time living in a country where a source language is spoken then jump at the chance. It will probably do more for your future as a translator than any qualification. While you're living the language, take courses in writing in your target (i.e. native) language, and study - or otherwise get experience in - something that interests you. Do that in your source language, or in both languages. Just before you intend starting out, take courses in translation techniques and entrepreneurship.


 

Dahae Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 09:09
Member (2017)
English to Korean
+ ...
Can I recommend you other CAT Tool? Dec 9, 2017

Hi~

I think i have a short career, but I want to recommend you other CAT Tool.
I was recommended from other translator.
She said, Trados is better than other CAT Tool.

I wish you try to use it, trail version.
You can download here.
http://www.sdl.com/software-and-services/translation-software/sdl-trados-studio/

Have a lovely day!


 

Daniel Frisano
Monaco
Local time: 02:09
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Suggestion Dec 9, 2017

Find an online magazine in English (or German, or Spanish) that has a Lithuanian version, translate a short article, then submit your translation to the Lithuanian website introducing yourself as a potential translator for them.

Some won't reply, some will reply rudely, some will tell you whether your work is good or no good, and who knows - some may hire your services.

Start with the ones who are expressly looking for collaborators. Having a blog to showcase your writing helps too.

Drawback: it can (and probably will be) time-consuming and discouraging because of negative answers or no answers at all. Then again, time-consuming and discouraging situations are not at all uncommon in the translation business, especially at the beginning.

If you have talent, you will succeed. A good translator is rarely out of work.


 

mona elshazly  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 02:09
Member (2016)
Arabic to English
+ ...
I think you have to work as a full timer for period to of time Dec 10, 2017

In my opinion, if the laws allow in your country, you should work as a full timer in a translation office for a period of time, so you can work under the supervision of a senior translator and get feedback on your work; that is the best way to gain experience. After that, you can decide to continue as full-timer or start your own business as a freelance translator.

 


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