How to become a translator?

The Translation Industry is growing rapidly; the trend of customization has increased the demand for translators. This has made the translation market very competitive and the experience and credibility have become key to success for the translators. The ambitious people start to learn about building their portfolio, networking with people and mainly the industry. However, it takes a lot of practice and skill to become a translator. Furthermore, it is recommended to join a translation firm before going for a freelancer translator. The translation field offers many opportunities for learning things and work with a variety of people. The translator becomes a bridge between the communications, how people grow, learn and talk to one another. Given is the stepwise process of becoming a translator, regardless of language;

The Starting:       

  1. Fluency in another Language is the starting point of becoming a translator, one must be aware of the casual conversation and formal dialogue of that language. The translator must have the extrinsic knowledge of the language for a deeper understanding of its working and foreigners approach towards it.
  2. Choosing an area of expertise, in case you are in college so that you may choose a major for its specialization. Furthermore, it is very important to work on the writing skills because the fact is that the translator must be a good writer as knowledge of two languages is just not enough. Speaking and writing the languages is equally important.    
  3. Translating and Interpreting Classes are helpful in gaining the skills of translating the contents like a small modification in the text makes it look refined and understandable for most of the people. Educational Backgrounds always give an edge.
  4. If possible, visit the native country of the Language; it helps in learning the regionalized terms of that language.

The Qualifications:

  1. The certifications are getting helpful in finding the job and on the websites the clients also prefer mentioning a certified translator.
  2. Take the Tests of language proficiency for assurance of language fluency to the clients. It is as effective as a certification or accreditation.

The Job or an Internship:                    

  1. Working as a translator with a firm as an employee or even as an intern gives experience and great learning, it helps in giving a jumpstart to the career as a freelance translator.
  2. Terms are build if you market yourself everywhere with decent rates.
  3. Having a niche also adds to it, you must concentrate on having one or two languages and topics.

Succeeding in your Career:

  1. The Services of translation should be provided at competitive rates, the price should increase with experience.
  2. The translator must be equipped with the right software; the CAT (Computer Aided Translation) tools are very helpful. The translator must know how to use the software efficiently as per satisfaction of the client and long-term relationship with the client.
  3. The translator must prefer translation projects in their native language as the translated content is ideal when the native words and tone is used in it.
  4. Prefer your area of expertise, your niche, as mentioned earlier, whether it is technical or management or whichever field you specializes.

Keep Learning:

A successful person never steps back from learning new things, no matter where it is coming from. Upgrade yourself with new tools as and when introduced for freelancers. Enhancing yourself by diversifying your specializations must be added with experience.




  1. Avatar Dar says:

    Are websites like onehourtranslation or smartlation (named by you in a different article) a good way to start as translator?

    • Avatar Sana says:

      No, they are not, at least accepts only professional translators, I registered as translator at OHT .com but I never received projects to do.

  2. Avatar Mike says:

    Thanks for this great article on how to become a successful translator.
    I have just arrived in Osaka as an English teacher at Mainichieikaiwa ( . My dream is to become a Japanese-English translator in the future. So I am currently learning Japanese as hard as I can.
    I will follow your advice and do my best.

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