Translation: Advice Plz!!
Thread poster: Hamoodi

Local time: 07:56
Apr 15, 2006

Hello everyone,
My name is Mohammed Al Salah, I'm 17 years old, I live in Bahrain, and I'm nearing the end of my last year of high school. I'm hoping to study something related to languages at university, simply because I enjoy them more than any other subject and would like to further enrich my language through my university study. However, I have a few concerns and need some advice. What do you suggest or recommend I should study if I wanted to work in the field of translation?? What I'm actually planning on doing (if it all works out - maybe too early to decide) is actually doing my masters degree in Translation and Interpreting, and doing my Bachelors degree in something like Mass Communication, which I found really interesting, especially because it is related to language in many ways. I would like to know your opinion on that as well. Also, I would like to know what the pay is like in a field like translation.

Thank you very much for your time...

[Edited at 2006-04-15 21:11]

[Edited at 2006-04-15 21:12]


Ricki Farn
Local time: 06:56
Member (2005)
English to German
Find a preferred content area Apr 16, 2006

Hi Mohammed,

one half of your success is how to translate, the other half is what to translate. What do you enjoy? Specialize in biology, engineering, law - anything that takes your fancy. Many successful translators have studied a subject like that, often even before studying languages. You will get a general background in one or more specialization areas during translator studies, but if you can get more specific knowledge than that, it will be a definite bonus. (See also the recent quick poll on "how may university degrees do you have" - and indeed much of ProZ content here and there and everywhereicon_smile.gif)

And check out the demand for language pairs first - the one you love most now might not be the one with sustained demand (I am not trying to guess what your preferred pair is, this is a general rather than a personal statementicon_smile.gif)

PS about the pay, it's country specific - perhaps there is a translators' association in your country that can provide you with some statistics.

Have fun. Way to go!

[Bearbeitet um 2006-04-16 00:13]


Abdellatif Bouhid  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
English to French
+ ...
Salam Apr 16, 2006

Greetings Brother Hamoodi,

Since you will most likely be translating and/or interpreting INTO Arabic, you must aim to attain the highest possible mastery of Arabic. The second language you should aim to master is English since you must have already done much inroad in it. A third language would be wonderful to add. You can look west (French, Spanish, German, etc...) or east (Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, etc...) from your geographical point. A general, diversified, wide and deep knowledge of arabic, western and eastern cultures in different subjects is also a worthwhile and necessary pursuit. In the process, you will discover affinities you are probably not aware of at this junction in your life. Above all, you must strive to enjoy the journey of accumulating knowledge as well as the destination of sharing it with others both in you personal life as well professionally. The possibilities are endeless before you. Diplomatic service in your own country as well other government ministries and private corporations, the United Nations, the Arab League and other international organizations around the world, academia, etc...are all waiting for talent like what you will be able to offer in a few years. All the best,

[Edited at 2006-04-16 00:25]

[Edited at 2006-04-16 00:26]


Local time: 07:56
Russian to Spanish
+ ...
Translation school Apr 17, 2006

Greetings Hamoodi

I would advice you to find a good translation and interpreting school, as you surely have already.

I think it is better to master not just languages but also the nuances, grey areas and difficult decissions that you are faced with when you translate, as well as the vital documentation techniques.

In that way your translations will be refined and precise.

It is quite a dilemma: to be a real specialist (say, a doctor or an engineer) which allows you to translate the most difficult texts of those domains easily, or, on the other hand, to be a specialist translator, a jack-of-all-trades, who will not know everything about a specific domain but can become a near-specialist in many fields.

I personally chose the second way.

Good Luck!


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