Sunday, January 6, 2013

Do We Need to Specialize in the Translation Industry?

Translators usually start their career as translation providers in a variety of fields starting from translations of diplomas, academic transcripts, certificates to highly technical texts which require not only very good linguistic skills but also deep and expensive knowledge in the particular field of expertise.

Probably you wake up in the morning feeling nervous because you have to deal with a new topic and this repeats almost every single day of your career. Well, your argument could well be because you want to earn more money but have you ever considered specializing in a certain area as a chance to improve your knowledge and income and have a more balanced everyday life? You can better concentrate on what you are translating and wait for the expected text to come rather than distributing your energy and time on various subjects. We all know that a translator should specialize on what he or she is passionate about. So first do enjoy the subject you have decided to deal with in depth and last but not least check if this area will bring your good financial support. Wasting your time on topics that prove to leading you to bad income are not beneficial for you at all. So loving and managing the area are important points when making your choice!

Before focusing on any field, you have to assess your strong and weak features and then subscribe to some national business daily newspaper or magazine. Then you will see what is in demand and decide what the best match is for you! Time is passing and you make your mind about which area to specialize in. You have to start contacting business people from the chosen industry; describe your experience and try to learn more about their work and connections abroad. Also, make sure that you do not show them you are desperately looking for work: try to obtain information about the possible professional industry events you could attend and go for them. Also, ask about any sub specialties you can further focus on so that you could be very outstanding in the competitive translation world.

At the very beginning you might have little or no experience in your chosen field of expertise: you may contact agencies but the lack of experience may lead you to nowhere and put you in a vicious circle to gain experience but not having the chance to do it. What you can do is networking or meeting with colleagues who specialize in the same field and ask them to subcontract some work to you (either translation or proofreading). All professional translators need some time to have a break and escape from the daily routine so this is your time to gain experience. Also, do attend training courses or workshops where you will meet colleagues and agencies interested in specializing in the same field as you!
Do not be afraid of specializing, take the subject you feel most comfortable to focus on and go for it!

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