How to become a translator/interpreter in Australia?
Thread poster: ejr17

ejr17
Australia
Local time: 08:22
Apr 20, 2016

Hi, I am interested in becoming a freelance translator/interpreter and I just have a few questions:

1. I really want to do German to English, but because I live in Australia (and later I want to move to the USA) and I fear that there many not be many jobs available so I was also considering Chinese (mandarin) to English. What do you think??

2. Would a bachelor of arts degree majoring in germanic studies be significant enough to become a translator/interpreter?

3. Would a bachelor of arts degree majoring in germanic studies be NAATI approved?

Thank you!


[Edited at 2016-04-20 09:50 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:22
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Only into Apr 20, 2016

ejr17 wrote:

Hi, I am interested in becoming a freelance translator/interpreter and I just have a few questions:

1. I really want to do English to German, but because I live in Australia (and later I want to move to the USA) and I fear that there many not be many jobs available so I was also considering English to Chinese (mandarin). What do you think??


What I think: you should only ever translate out of another language into your own native language.


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
This may help Apr 21, 2016

Proz has a lot of resources available to those who take the time to explore the site. One of them is an extensive list of translator organizations by country, which is here:

http://www.proz.com/translator_associations/

Any of those listed under "Australia" should be able to provide the information you seek.

Good luck!

PS. Here's an unsolicited piece of advice from a long-time professional translator: doing research is a very important part of our profession and a good skill to start developing as early as possible.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:22
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Is it worth the effort? Apr 21, 2016

ejr17 wrote:
Hi, I am interested in becoming a freelance translator/interpreter and I just have a few questions:

Do you speak or read any foreign languages at this point? If so what are they and what is your level of competence?

Dan


 

Patricia Will  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:22
Member (2004)
German to English
How to become a translator/interpreter in Australia? Apr 21, 2016

I am assuming your native language is German? Anyway, you are right about one thing and that is the limited opportunities into and out of German in Australia. Cannot say what the situation would be in the USA. But I can tell you that I live in Australia and do DE-EN and the majority of my work comes from Europe. If you are determined to become a translator or interpreter (again, minimal demand for interpreting into or out of German in Australia) then I agree with Tom that it is preferable to translate into your mother tongue and I wouldn't just do a degree in German language and literature, you would be better off doing a degree in translation and interpreting at least. And NAATI is unlikely to recognise just a degree in languages it would need to be in T&I. And they are very specific. It doesn't even recognise all T&I degrees in Australia. And there are not that many universities that offer them. But don't worry too much about getting NAATI accredited unless you want to work exclusively in the public sector, e.g. translating documents needed by government departments like the immigration department. A lot of agencies in Australia prefer NAATI-accredited translators but usually as a minimum standard. I think you need to do a bit more research about the opportunities before deciding to undertake an expensive degree like that. And as for tackling Chinese, if it is not your native language and you have not lived there for years I think that would be a very hard slog to reach the kind of native-speaker competency you would need to be a successful translator and/or interpreter. Other colleagues may disagree.

Hope this helps


 


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