Continuing Education
Thread poster: Jonathan Lukens (X)

Jonathan Lukens (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:25
Russian to English
+ ...
Sep 7, 2006

Hi all,

I'm a fairly young translator, three years in, but due to a few lucky breaks and some elbow grease, I am able to support my family and have a little butter for my bread with the client base that I've built up. However, I have serious security issues whenever there's a lull in the workflow, and so I have decided to bolster my professional qualifications in whatever way I can. I passed the ATA exam for Russian>English in June, and I'm currently in my second year of Japanese, which I hope to add as a working language within five years.
I am currently in a position where I can work 20 hours a week translating and there is enough time and money left over after bills to pay for schooling. I plan on finishing a BA in Japanese in May 2009. That much I have my mind set on. I have lots of options for the additional component to this: stay on and do a dual MA in Japanese and Translation Studies; a BS in engineering; a masters in Public Policy; MBA, etc.
I usually translate legal and IT-related materials. I have no credentials to back up my knowledge of these subjects other than the fact that my clients are satisfied with my work. I would like to make my resume meatier while I'm still young and have the energy to be in school and work (I'm 25 now).
I would appreciate advice from all seasoned professionals, but especially from those who work in the US, since the weight attached to certain credentials may vary from country to country.



Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
OK Sep 7, 2006

You have a lot of time so you can learn a lot, but I would say:

Find a language, and find a good niche and go for it.

Probably just one language and one niche. Life is too short, unfortunately, to do it all. But go for it!


Thor Truelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:25
Swedish to English
+ ...
Hello Sir Sep 7, 2006

Hi. Dan Freier talks about you all the time, at least when he's not talking about Michiko : ) Congratulations on your ATA certification. I saw that in the Chronicle I just got. Well, you could save your tuition $$ and buy out Dan instead. I am sure he's offered it to you. But if that doesn't interest you, I think that since you're a native speaker of English, and you are certified from Russian, you'll get a whole boat load of work sooner or later. I have heard from a few reliable people in this industry that there is a tremendous need for good, native speaking English translators of Russian. Look me up on the ATA directory and give me a call if you want. I have plenty to say, but sometimes don't say things very well here in this forum, me being plain spoken and all.



Jonathan Lukens (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:25
Russian to English
+ ...
T vs. I Sep 7, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:

Probably just one language and one niche.


Thanks for the advice. Since you do only work with one language, I'm curious -- what percentage of your income comes from interpreting? (I'm totally inept at it -- have difficulty remembering what language to speak to whom).



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