Careers in commercial translation and interpreting are open to people with a wide range of backgrounds. Whether you are a recent graduate with a Masters in Translation or have years of industry experience, you can put your language skills to great use as a translator/interpreter.
Careers in Commercial translation
A career in commercial translation is both rewarding and fascinating for anyone interested in written communication and language.
Almost everything needs a translating solution; from advertising and promotional material to children’s books and websites - the list is endless.
Careers in this field vary but most translators work in-house or freelance. Other career paths you may want to consider are: proofreading, subtitling and project management.
To be a proficient translator, you must have impeccable writing skills in your mother tongue. The best way to successfully break into the commercial translation industry is with a degree or post-graduate qualification in commercial translation.
Alternatively, if you do not hold a degree, you could opt to study for the Diploma in Commercial Translation (which is equivalent to a post-graduate qualification). If you don't have a qualification but do hold relevant experience and proven, solid language skills you may start translating.
It is sometimes beneficial to also be fluent in a second or third language, have specialized knowledge in a specific industry i.e. business, medical etc., and have the willingness to thoroughly learn and investigate background knowledge (i.e. country's culture, social attitudes, laws and regulations etc.) of the language you are working on.
The commercial translation industry is not a regulated profession and we strongly advise ACTA members to use the ACTA certified seal of approval on all work.
Many translators and interpreters arrive in the profession with a wealth of experience gained in another industry, giving them a real boost to their career right at the start.
One of the biggest challenges facing new language and translation graduates when they start out as freelancers is their lack of subject specialization. In a competitive marketplace, it pays to find a niche, and lateral entrants to the industry from other careers can quickly demonstrate their credentials and industry skills honed from years working in a different environment.
Of course, the lateral entrant also needs the language skills, but often these have been developed simply by immersion in their source language environment, from years of being surrounded by and working with native speakers.