Source: CommonWealth Magazine


Being a translator is a great job these days. Why? This is due to the role of the Internet in connecting the world easily, so knowledge of foreign languages is also required. Of course, if you want to become a professional translator, you must know at least two languages (native and foreign).

As Indonesians, we are blessed with bilingual ability. This means that we can at least speak multiple languages, including Indonesian and regional languages. This will also get us used to learn a new language if we are willing.

The work of translators should not be underestimated these days as it has been found to be able to meet financial needs. And most importantly, as a translator, you get to see interesting events happening in other parts of the world. 

If you are determined to make it happen, the followings are the steps to become a translator:

Select A Language

Of course, as translators, we must not overlook this first point. This point is definitely important for several reasons. In addition to preferences, there are other considerations to consider when choosing the language you want to master, including how easy it is to understand, how many people speak this language in the world, whether it will be profitable in the business world, and so on.

Some aspiring translators usually try to learn two or three foreign languages before actually deciding which language they want to master. Some people focus on learning the foreign language of their choice without trying to do anything else.   It doesn’t matter which one, but the point is that there is a strong relationship between the language you are using and the language you are learning (for instance is Indonesian and English).  You neither need be too perfect. It is important that the cross-language structure fits into the existing context.  Just keep learning!

Distinguish Between Translator and Interpreter

Many people still think that translators are also called interpreters. To become a translator, you need to know the difference between the two. Some translators double as interpreters. However, the terminology used for each of these occupations may not be the same. To better understand the difference between a translator and an interpreter and become a trusted translator, read this Difference Between A Translator and An Interpreter article written by AEC Translations.

Select Specialization

There are so many text and chat topics in this world. These texts and topics should be classified into categories. For example, texts about novels fall under the Literature category. If it suits your interests, you can become an expert translator of literary works, for example. Some translators specialize in science, movie subtitling, etc. Now you can choose the subject you like the most and learn to translate it at the same time. That means you can get a job that suits what you like, right?

Build Your Platform

Once you’ve studied long enough to become a translator and feel confident translating, the next step in becoming a translator is to start thinking about how you can market your skills. Of course, you don’t just sell your skills by word of mouth. You also need to take your business seriously. Create a platform such as a website or social media account to showcase your portfolio of work. This platform lets people know that you are a professional translator.

Promote Your Skill

Of course, after creating a platform, you need to promote your expertise and get more people to know it. By having a platform and promoting your expertise, you will be recognized as a professional translator rather than a beginner. Definitely, having a platform to spread your expertise as a translator takes full responsibility for your profession. So don’t be afraid to advertise your business.

Join A Translation Agency

However, if you are not ready to have your own platform to promote your skills as a translator, you can join a translation agency. AEC Translations offers those wishing to join us as freelance translators by sending a resume to email:

When you enter a translation agency, you will find out that there is a lot of work to be done, what professional translators do, how long it takes to translate a text, and so on. It`s an effective way to become a translator.

Find Customers

To start your career as a translator, don’t be too picky when accepting your first client. That means you have an opportunity to show what you can do. Please do your best to make the translation work.

Don`t hesitate to ask your clients about the context of the translated material, the audience for the translation, etc. The more information you have, the better you can understand what your customers want. Show them that you are a professional translator.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions and Keep Learning

As a final step to becoming a translator, given that you are new to the translator journey and familiar with the world of professional translators, there will be many questions such as what responsibilities to consider when becoming a translator, how to negotiate with clients, standard pricing for translation work, dealing with client complaints, etc.

You can ask this question to those who have translation experience. Apart from that, you can also join a translator community on social media. Now it’s time to try and practice the above steps and be ready to become a professional translator. Best of luck!A

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