Becoming a translator
Thread poster: evon
Local time: 06:19
Japanese to English
+ ...
Nov 17, 2006

Hi, I'm from Singapore and have almost completed my GCE 'A' level papers ( have a couple of papers left). I intend to major in Japanese in university. Would that be enough to become a translator? Or would I have to go to a translator's college? I'm interested in literary translations more than anything, though I know jobs in that would be hard to come by, so I'm planning to specialise in Japanese literature. Would that be a good choice?

I'm also hoping to gain some job experience before I go into university. Thing is, I'm self-taught, I have my JLPT Level 3 pass from 3 years ago (haven't had time to prepare for or take JLPT 2), didn't take Japanese at 'O' or 'A' level standard, but I did (and still do) translate song lyrics and some magazine articles for a fan group. Would that be sufficient to apply as an apprentice at some publisher? Or am I just hoping for too much? Thanks!

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Local time: 06:19
Chinese to Italian
+ ...
Japanese studies at UNI level. Nov 17, 2006

Hi Evon,
Welcome to! To become a literary translator, you don't have to major necessarily in Translation Studies, although an education in such a field would surely help. I am sure there is a good Japanese Studies dept. at NUS, where you could study Japanese language and Literature, and specialize in the translation of Japanese literature.

Concerning working/doing an internship at a publishing house in SG, I don't know anything about that, but maybe you could post the question in the Chinese language forum and see if translators from Singapore know more about the matter.

As far as becoming a literary translator is concerned, you can also browse other forums in, the literature/poetry forum for example, or search the whole of Proz forums by keywords.

Good luck,

[Edited at 2006-11-17 10:29]

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Local time: 00:19
English to Chinese
+ ...
focus on some field Nov 27, 2006

You should focus on some special field, e.g. engineering, or machinery. To focus on, you can achieve his by working. I once wored in a shipyard invested by Singaporeans, and that just started my translation and further boarded my translation. Therefore, to select the job is very important for starting the translation.

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