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What would you say to a translation student?
Thread poster: Pablo Fiumara

Pablo Fiumara
Local time: 16:22
English to Spanish
Mar 6, 2007

Hi!

What do you think it's the best a translation student can do?

A) Work (during the course), no matter if the job is related to translation

B) Do some free translations (Who would you recommend to do some free translations for?)

C) Don't work until you get your degree so as to focus completely in your studies.

D) Other option. Say what

Greetings!


 

Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 02:22
English to Indonesian
+ ...
starts early Mar 7, 2007

if you're a student, i assume you have source of income for your tuition and basic needs. then b would be a good option.
you can think of this as 'promotion' for yourself. you can offer this to your fellow university/college students, i.e. translating parts of textbook, assignment, etc. then when you grow more confident, you can start promoting yourself to other, wider clients, and eventually, of course, go commercial.


 

Şadan Öz  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 22:22
English to Turkish
Not C) Mar 7, 2007

Each conditions OK, except C) option.
And in all conditions, you need to have feedback for your works. The formula is clear: Background + experience.

Good luck,
Sadan


 

Melzie
Local time: 20:22
French to English
+ ...
D Mar 7, 2007

Read, read and read in both languages, if you have access to something in both compare to how you would have done it.
Personally, I wouldn't give away my translations willy nilly. Why not find a charity you like that needs their docs or site translating but couldn't afford a 'proper' translator otherwise and offer your services? You are and will be a 'proper' translator. Practice for you, a service for them. A win-win situation...
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Read, read and read in both languages, if you have access to something in both compare to how you would have done it.
Personally, I wouldn't give away my translations willy nilly. Why not find a charity you like that needs their docs or site translating but couldn't afford a 'proper' translator otherwise and offer your services? You are and will be a 'proper' translator. Practice for you, a service for them. A win-win situation
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Andrea Brumma
Spain
Local time: 20:22
English to German
+ ...
Study abroad, do an internship in a translation agency, ... Mar 7, 2007

D) At your home university, learn the basics of the language you wish to translate from and concentrate hard on translation theory. You should also learn how to use translation memory tools. Try applying for a scholarship and study 1-2 years abroad. If a scholarship isn't possible, you can work, too. You will best learn all facets of a language in the country where it is spoken. Just make friends, mix with the natives, go to the pub, the cinema, and enjoy yourself. If you want to translate, rath... See more
D) At your home university, learn the basics of the language you wish to translate from and concentrate hard on translation theory. You should also learn how to use translation memory tools. Try applying for a scholarship and study 1-2 years abroad. If a scholarship isn't possible, you can work, too. You will best learn all facets of a language in the country where it is spoken. Just make friends, mix with the natives, go to the pub, the cinema, and enjoy yourself. If you want to translate, rather do an internship in a translation agency than work as freelance translator, or have your translations checked by a professional (otherwise you can destroy your reputation even before having one). Sometimes agencies look for students because they don't want to/cannot pay much. This is your opportunity. Agree with them that they will send you feedback on you translations and/or the revised text. You can also work for non-profit organizations, but it might be difficult to get feedback.

[Bearbeitet am 2007-03-07 11:00]
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Andrew Steel  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:22
Spanish to English
D) Join a professional association Mar 7, 2007

Cache,

I don't know what the situation is like in Argentina as regards translators' associations, though I'm sure that there's plenty of information available on this site.
With that caveat, I would recommend joining a professional translators' association as a student member.

Once part of the association, I would recommend taking part in as many workshops/sessions/meetings as possible and learning from more experienced translators all about the day-to-day detail
... See more
Cache,

I don't know what the situation is like in Argentina as regards translators' associations, though I'm sure that there's plenty of information available on this site.
With that caveat, I would recommend joining a professional translators' association as a student member.

Once part of the association, I would recommend taking part in as many workshops/sessions/meetings as possible and learning from more experienced translators all about the day-to-day details of the profession. If you're lucky, you might even be able to join a peer support or mentoring scheme, as well as making contacts that'll serve you well in the future.

By all means take a job unrelated to translation if it falls in a sector in which you wish to specialise, if not then it's not likely to further your translation career.

I'm not sure why you'd want to do free translations; after all, if you're a translation student you should be doing that regularly and receiving detailed feedback from your tutors. If you're referring to working for NGOs, then that's slightly different, though I would make sure that you get some kind of feedback on your work.

Andrew
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Pablo Fiumara
Local time: 16:22
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
When should one start working? Mar 7, 2007

When a translation student should start working either for free or charging? Suppose the course is four years, Would you seek job related to translation (or free translations) after the second year, when the third starts?

My course has Internship

[Editado a las 2007-03-07 11:29]


 

Irene N
United States
Local time: 13:22
English to Russian
+ ...
On a very light side:-) Mar 7, 2007

See for yourself if anything is applicable:-)

Rules for Apprentice Writers by A. Chekhov.

... Every newborn should be thoroughly cleaned and, after given a chance to rest from first impressions, harshly whipped with words “Do not write! Do not write! Do not be a writer”! Should inspite of such infliction said newborn carry on showing fancy for writing, try tenderness. If still no joy, give up – he is as good as lost. Writing itch is incurable.

The pat
... See more
See for yourself if anything is applicable:-)

Rules for Apprentice Writers by A. Chekhov.

... Every newborn should be thoroughly cleaned and, after given a chance to rest from first impressions, harshly whipped with words “Do not write! Do not write! Do not be a writer”! Should inspite of such infliction said newborn carry on showing fancy for writing, try tenderness. If still no joy, give up – he is as good as lost. Writing itch is incurable.

The path of a writing one is bespattered with thorns, spikes and nettle hence any wholesome human being should go out of his way to estrange himself from writing. ...


I have not found a translation of this particular story so this is my try. Don't worry, I don't do things like that for publishing:-)


[Edited at 2007-03-07 14:51]
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Marina Khonina  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:22
Russian to English
+ ...
Work as much as you can :) Mar 7, 2007

When I was just starting out in translation, I was very eager to improve my translation skills, but I didn't know where to begin. I wondered whether I should seek formal training, buy expensive dictionaries, or read more books on the subject. When I asked a more experienced colleague what would be the best thing to do, she said, "Work and then work some more." This was the best advice I ever got.

A degree in translation is nice, but I suggest you get as much "real world" experience
... See more
When I was just starting out in translation, I was very eager to improve my translation skills, but I didn't know where to begin. I wondered whether I should seek formal training, buy expensive dictionaries, or read more books on the subject. When I asked a more experienced colleague what would be the best thing to do, she said, "Work and then work some more." This was the best advice I ever got.

A degree in translation is nice, but I suggest you get as much "real world" experience as possible. Volunteer translation is one option (but make sure your client knows that you are a novice translator). Another is to find a mentor, perhaps one of your university instructors. If you are enthusiastic about it, I'm sure you will find someone willing to help you.

Good luck!
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Pablo Fiumara
Local time: 16:22
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Mar 7, 2007

I am grateful for all your advices

When would you recommend to start working if it is a four-year course?


 

Marion Lurf  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:22
English to German
+ ...
It depends Mar 7, 2007

Cache wrote:
When would you recommend to start working if it is a four-year course?

Why would you want to put a date to it? Similarly, when do babies start to talk? The answer is: it depends. You will agree that every individual is different, and you probably need to decide for yourself when you think you are ready to embark on commercial translation. In addition, you could also ask one of your university tutors for their opinion. They know you and should be able to give you a more accurate recommendation than any of us Prozians. Nevertheless, please do consider the sound advice which has already been given in this thread

Don't forget that a course in translation does not equip you with everything you need to work as a professional translator; for instance, no one will teach you how to market yourself or how to do your accounting (this is just a note for the future). Your internship will certainly be a good opportunity for you to gain a deeper insight into the profession.

Personally, I never did much "real" translation work during my studies, unless I was offered some by friends or acquaintances. The reason for this was - I have to admit - that it simply never occurred to me to e.g. send out my CV to agencies to gain some more experience.

By the way, I would only do unpaid work if it was for a good cause. Even a novice translator should not undersell him/herself, as it will be hard to raise your rates later on.

Good luck with all your endeavours!

Marion


 

Pablo Fiumara
Local time: 16:22
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
I'll take all your advices Mar 7, 2007

Thank you to all those who helped me

You are right, my question was subjective


 

Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 13:22
German to English
A slightly off-topic bit of advice! Mar 7, 2007

I just wanted to offer this piece of advice:

STUDY AS MUCH TRANSLATION THEORY AS YOU CAN

This is the ONLY thing your course will teach you that you will not be able to learn in practice later. But if you become a professional translator, you WILL find you use it and apply it every day of your working life. I know I do!

Good luck!


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
In memoriam
Learn your Languages Mar 7, 2007

More than anything, learn your foreign language until it is part of you and even then never stop. Continue learning your native language and never stop.

For the foreign language this will mean you will have to live for an extended time in a country where it is spoken. Book learning is very insufficient, and you'll never get very far just staying in Argentina.

To hell with theory, it will be the practical things that will get you through, and those are the things you wil
... See more
More than anything, learn your foreign language until it is part of you and even then never stop. Continue learning your native language and never stop.

For the foreign language this will mean you will have to live for an extended time in a country where it is spoken. Book learning is very insufficient, and you'll never get very far just staying in Argentina.

To hell with theory, it will be the practical things that will get you through, and those are the things you will have to live.
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Pablo Fiumara
Local time: 16:22
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
I want to clarify something Mar 7, 2007

I'll post the same in my another thread.

I am 16 years old, have to do one year to finish high school. I am so responsible that I am planning what I am going to do after I finish secondary school. I like English very much and, after ruling out being a teacher (I discovered I do not like teaching, just love the language) I decided to become a translator. The point is I am not confident and doubt whether to do something after I have decided about it.

I wish I could write
... See more
I'll post the same in my another thread.

I am 16 years old, have to do one year to finish high school. I am so responsible that I am planning what I am going to do after I finish secondary school. I like English very much and, after ruling out being a teacher (I discovered I do not like teaching, just love the language) I decided to become a translator. The point is I am not confident and doubt whether to do something after I have decided about it.

I wish I could write here in Spanish but it is not allowed (by the way, I talked to some people graduated from where I am willing to study, they gave me useful advices and I have recovered my confidence).

I hope you will understand me better now.

Sorry for my English.
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