Young person deciding between translation start and family business seeks advice
Thread poster: Francesca Battaglia

Francesca Battaglia
Local time: 12:01
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 26, 2002

hello dear members! i wouldnt post this if i wasnt that desperate. here s my story:

i am 25..finished my translation studies in past 2001, and been busy with my parents activity (which is miles and miiiiiiles away from an even \"language related\" job).

i had the chance to drop on a few transaltion jobs, which i completed in time and with my best efforts. i never really had the time to actually LOOK for jobs and to physically knock to every single agency or potential client.

since i was very busy with my family activity, i often turned down all the job offers that came my way (nothing more than receptionists or small administration positions). i even spent two months in another country to think about what i had to do and what my expectations were or had to be. and practice with the language, of course. but now i am more confused than ever and i wonder..

i am 25, i have very little translation experience and practically no other working experience. shall i drop the family activity to opt for any administration or reception job or keep the activity and use that little free time that i have to stick on agencies and jope to get some translation job? do you think at my age and with that little experience i have should be of help (or damaging) to spend a year in another country?

i am soooo confused..

i am afraid i will never achieve anything and waste my time..afraid that if i dont start right now to look for a serious job (non transalting-)i wont get any other job cos too old for starting positions.

please..tell me how u started, give me tips and suggestions! i beg you!!!

(sorry that was so long..).

thank you sooooo much!!! fran

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Arthur Borges
Local time: 18:01
+ ...
Even the pyramids will waste away Sep 26, 2002

Either make the break with family till you make it or break it, or accept your fate and grow into translation as a sieline, that may well need a decade or two to blossom. Why be in a hurry -- going to the cemetery???

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:01
English to German
+ ...
Tell us more about what you did Sep 26, 2002

For starters, what are your family\'s activities? Maybe you can use knowledge/experience acquired doing what you did and apply this to linguistic work?

There are many ways to enter translation - I practically stumbled across it, yet I gave up a career in investment banking for translation (and never looked back).

IOW: panicking won\'t help you. Focusing on your abilities will. Deciding on what you want to do will.

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Local time: 12:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Try to get a foot on first Sep 26, 2002

Could you do some translation work while you carry on with your family business? It might be a bit hard at the beginning, but if you find you start getting more and more translations to do, you could drop your other activity. That\'s what I did some 8 years ago, and YES, it was difficult to do both things at the same time (nights, week-ends, etc.), but eventually I could see a future for me in the field of translation without having risked my steady income. Good luck!

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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
To whom are you going to marry? Sep 26, 2002

Think about it. You are not going to marry to someone you don\'t know or to someone you don\'t love enough because you are going to live with him, to sleep with him, to share almost everything for the rest of your life. Thus, it\'s better to marry to someone you really love.

The same is for your work. Do you know that you are going to spend at least 8 hours per day (50% of your life time when you are not sleeping)? Thus it\'s necessary to do something you really love, you really enjoy.

Maybe your family business is something that you love. Your parents have built it with lot of efforts, and you might want to help them or continue with it.

If you love translating, working with words and all that stuff, and you think it will be a real pleasure to work hard the whole week-end to deliver a translation on time, that when you are not doing anything you are translating something just for pleasure, then you have to be a translator. Think about it: you have to choose whatever gives you more pleasure during eight hours per day -at least.

I know it\'s very difficult to star as a translator; well, it\'s very difficult to start as an engineer, architect or medical doctor... The most difficult thing is to start. But it\'s not impossible.

You have to be sincere with yourself. If you don\'t love your family business, you\'ll fell unconfortable, unhappy, deceived with yourself, and you\'d put it on risk. But if you love it, you\'ll enjoy it. And the translation? Well, it\'s something that you have learned, and it will stay with you for the whole life, it\'s knowledge.


Clarisa Moraña

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
At 25 Sep 27, 2002

You\'ve got all kinds of options. Why worry? Just work; go for the best opportunities available and yes, start building a track record for yourself. Perhaps you think the family business does not offer much in the way of development; that it\'s only a way to get by for now. That may or may not be true also, so consider what it does or does not offer as a future.

Translation may be and usually is done as a sideline until the translator develops to the point where he or she can stand alone and make a decent living at it. That took me until age 45. I would hope you can do it quicker, but you\'ve got plenty of time.

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Hinara  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:01
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Do what you LOVE most Sep 27, 2002

Fran, the fact that you have a degree in the field tells me that you at least like translating. My advice: if your family business is taking up too much of your time and you are not gaining any valuable experience that may help you in the translation field---drop the family business and find a job that may not be as well paid but will allow you to focus on growing inthe trans field. I quit teaching because I could not do both and only after 1-2 years was I finally getting the experience I wanted. Something has to give, but don\'t let it be what you love most.

Good luck and good premises!


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