What translator's training shall I do as a French living in Uk
Thread poster: Nellydebeaux
Nellydebeaux
United Kingdom
Aug 19

Hi,

I'm Nelly I'm French and living in London and I'd like to do a training to be able to work as a translator.

1/ A master degree (open university) in english or a training with CI3M in French ?
2/ Shall I do it in my mother tongue :French or here in English ?
3/ Does a training enough for going to the Dip Trans exam !?

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for where I should start !?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Nelly


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:37
French to English
Welcome! Aug 20

Nellydebeaux wrote:

Hi,

I'm Nelly I'm French and living in London and I'd like to do a training to be able to work as a translator.

1/ A master degree (open university) in english or a training with CI3M in French ?
2/ Shall I do it in my mother tongue :French or here in English ?
3/ Does a training enough for going to the Dip Trans exam !?

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for where I should start !?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Nelly


Welcome to the world of translation. When deciding what course to sign up for, you need to be clear about the following:
- what you already have in terms of qualifications and experience
- what you are seeking to achieve.

Access to courses will be determined by what you already have in terms of qualifications and experience.

It is wisest to translate from your a foreign tongue into your native tongue, thus for you, from English into French. There is debate on that particular subject, but it is one of the most standard professional requirements.

So to answer your questions:
1) A master's degree (Open University) in English or a course (not "a training")...: It will depend on your current qualifications and experience.
2) If you hope to have clients later on, translate into your mother tongue. So look for appropriate courses that would enable your to obtain a qualification in translation from English into French, wherever you decide to do it.
3) I'm afraid I don't understand this question. Do you mean "Is a course enough to enter the Dip Trans exam?".

So, once you have decided what is accessible to you based on what you already have, you will have a better idea of what you can consider as a next step. If you wish to obtain a particular qualification (Dip Trans???), then you obviously only need to look at those courses.

More generally, translators come from lots of different backgrounds.
Some have grown up in a bilingual family environment, some have extensive periods of residence abroad with family or professionally. Many of these people are excellent translators, yet have no formal language qualifications. What they generally have in addition to their language skills is professional experience and/or qualifications. This means they can "sell" their skills in both areas as they will have on-the-job experience of fields in which they offer their translation services.
Others will have obtained formal language qualifications, although not necessarily in translation. To this, they will add other formal qualifications and experience which enables them to work in specific fields. Some will have qualifications in translation and have acquired translations skills in relevant fields through study and interships.

You need to bear this in mind as if you are wishing to work as a translator, you will need to be able to situate what you are able to offer somewhere in that context.

What qualifications, experience and skills do you have at the moment?

(Edited to correct to from English into French throughout. Thanks neilmac!)

[Edited at 2017-08-21 09:42 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Caveat Aug 20

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:


It is wisest to translate from your a foreign tongue into your native tongue, thus for you, from French into English. There is debate on that particular subject, but it is one of the most standard professional requirements.



@Nikki: Nelly says she's French, so I assume you mean she should focus on translating from English (presumably her L2) or other languages into French (her L1).

@Nelly: My advice is to make the most of your time in the UK to soak up as much vocabulary and as many expressions as possible - reading newspapers, magazines, professional, technical or scientific journals, and specifically anything related with the fields you intend to concentrate on. Regarding courses to take, a master's course in English sounds useful, especially if it has a specific purposes module.

[Edited at 2017-08-20 18:59 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:37
French to English
@David Aug 21

Oops, yes thank you. I very carefully put it the wrong way round! Yes, it should be from English to French all the way through.
Previous post duly edited. Thanks NeilMac!

[Edited at 2017-08-21 09:43 GMT]


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Nellydebeaux
United Kingdom


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Thanks Aug 21

Thanks both of you for your answers.

I have a French D.U.T (in UK it's equivalent to a diploma of Higher education) in Advertising and Marketing, and work for 7 years before coming to London as an assistant or commercial executive.

Now in London I'm working in social care. (10 years) with no previous diploma but I gained a professional experience and certificates (obtained through the company which employs me).

So yes I'm in uk since 2007 and read and listened radio or watch movies in English.

But I don't know if a course (thanks for the Correction) will be enough to become a successful translator ?

But as you said I gonna check better what I want to achieve and decide from here.

Thanks again for your tips.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Translator training is only one part of it Aug 21

Hello Nelly,

As Nikki implied, you need a lot more than a certificate to show that you're a translator, although nothing at all is absolutely required, so don't give up.

Firstly, even if your source-language comprehension is very good (it needs to be), you'll probably be communicating with a lot of clients in English so you need to be able to express yourself well in writing and on the phone.

Secondly, you'll need to have really excellent writing skills in French. I know you're a native speaker but I lived in France for 15 years and the written French I saw there was quite amazingly bad in many cases. Mine is way from perfect, of course, but I know when a verb needs an infinitive ending and when it should be the past participle! Hopefully, you do too , otherwise, take some classes in French writing.

Thirdly, it would be a very bad idea to try to translate each and every subject area. There are very many thousands of EN>FR translators in the world - and even here on ProZ.com. Unless you can provide quality that puts you up in the top few percent, at a reasonable speed, you'll never earn a good living by translating. So you need to specialise and get known as someone who can produce really good translations in specific subjects. Many of us get those specialisations from outside of translation - former careers, families, university degrees, even hobbies - although you can also build one simply by translating more and more texts relating to a particular subject.

Fourthly (I won't say 'finally' because there are loads of other things ), you'll very likely be working as a freelancer, which means you'll be running a very small business and you'll need at least basic skills for negotiating, invoicing, risk and time management, payment chasing, book-keeping, business law... The peculiarity of our little businesses is that they're often highly international, so the taxation and legal issues can confound even some accountants.


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