Translating for the military as a possible career path
Thread poster: sparta1978

sparta1978
Local time: 23:34
Russian to English
+ ...
Feb 16

I want to touch on a topic that can lead to an amazing career or an adventure but is often overlooked by translators I meet, particularly those of foreign backgrounds working in the USA.

US military offers extensive programs to grow your translation skill and apply it in a practical way while of course getting paid.

In general, both physical and mental readiness is required to actually function well in the military. Conformity to military norms is required, which can be quite a change from civilian life. The military is usually a long-term commitment as well.


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:34
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
You may need to be a US citizen Feb 18

I have found that it can be a requirement for US military translations that you have to be a US citizen.
If you are, apart from doing freelance work, you could enlist and get the military to train you and teach you their specific requirements.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:34
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Another view Feb 18

sparta1978 wrote:
I want to touch on a topic that can lead to an amazing career or an adventure but is often overlooked by translators I meet, particularly those of foreign backgrounds working in the USA.


https://www.wired.com/2011/08/lost-in-translation-how-the-army-wastes-linguists-like-me/


 

sparta1978
Local time: 23:34
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Replies Feb 18

Visa is absolutely a big deal and sometimes citizenship is required Jack. Good point.

Samuel Murray, another view indeed.

Max R in article describes a safe and fantastically easy overseas deployment. Something most soldiers only dream about.

Army is not servitude - you can ask and volunteer for tasks. If that fails request a transfer to a unit that does something different.


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:34
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Not only USA wastes talents of its armed forces. Feb 19

The UK Royal Air Force trained me and many others as Russian linguists. At the end of the course most were posted to Germany and Cyprus, but six of us were sent to Hong Kong. When we arrived and said we were linguists, we were asked whether we spoke Mandarin or Cantonese. When we said Russian, they had no idea what to do with us. In the end four were sent back to Germany, and I and one other stayed in Hong Kong for two years, with hardly any Russian to do, I when I got back home eventually I found most of what we had been doing was useless anyway.

 

sparta1978
Local time: 23:34
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Personal benefit vs national interests Feb 19

Jack Doughty wrote:

The UK Royal Air Force trained me and many others as Russian linguists.


Thanks for your input on this, and its inquisitive to know your background for the future.

To the topic at hand: Governments transfer many things with a leaky bucket. Militaries, as part of a giant beurocracy, across the globe are no exception. Maybe they could of used you better, but you did get trained and paid during your service.

I recall how well you orient yourself in military Russian, so I assume they trained you well Jack. Both as a linguist and a communicator.


 


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Translating for the military as a possible career path

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