Translating Certificates: an excellent source of income
Have you ever translated a birth, marriage, or death certificate? If you haven't, you may want to consider adding this specialization to your linguistic repertoire. If you have, then you undoubtedly know what some of the benefits and pitfalls are. By following the right steps, I guarantee that you will add an easy and steady source of income to your translating business.
Before you do anything, I recommend that you research this subject as much as you can. It is very important to know about what you are translating before you sit down and get to work. You can start with the documents that you have at hand. Do you have a copy of your birth certificate? What are the titles of the people who signed it? What are their equivalents in your source or target language? The Internet is also a great place to search for this kind of information.
The next important step in preparing for this kind of translation is acquiring the tools and know how to re-create the source document as carefully and accurately as possible. You may be saying to yourself: "Why should I bother cutting and pasting images as well as formatting the target document when my true job here is to translate?"
The answer is quite simple: you can either do a fairly good job with no inserted images and no extra formatting, or you can do a complete, translation/desktop publishing project that is both visually and verbally appealing to the client. In other words, with a small investment of your time and resources, you are capable of winning your clients' loyalty and thus increasing the possibility of repeat business.
You will need screen capture software in order to cut various images from source documents such as stamps, seals, and signatures. I myself use SnagIt
SnagIt, a versatile screen capture application that comes with a built-in editor and several settings that you can define. If you are not already a proficient user of MS Word, I suggest that you become more acquainted with it. Allen Wyatt's WordTips
is a great place to start.
As most of these official documents are sent to the translator in scanned PDF files which usually originated from an average to poor quality fax, it is virtually impossible to load these documents into a CAT tool. Therefore, the translator is reduced to using Adobe Acrobat Reader and MS Word or similar word processor. Nevertheless, if you are translating the same type of document from the same country, region or state, you will be glad to know that you can establish a template of sorts and thus substantially reduce the amount of work involved in translating each new document of the same type.
All of this may seem difficult at the beginning, but bear in mind that you have the potential of a steady, dependable, and predictable form of income. People will never stop being born, getting married, divorced, traveling or emigrating.