Usually graduates of any philological studies follow two career paths – either as a teacher or a translator. Those studying languages have already taken the first step towards their future job. Acquiring in-depth knowledge about language and culture of a given country, exploring translation techniques and organisation of a translator’s workflow – all these contribute to easier orientation on the job market and completion of reliable translations. Let’s say we just graduated – what should we start with?
Specialised translation – choosing an industry
Trivial though it may sound, work experience is vital. A placement or internship is a perfect chance to start building your professional network. Such work opportunities allow you to tackle diversified texts on your own, most likely without severe consequences. A few months spent at a translation agency pose also a great chance to explore various fields and discover which translations appeal to you the most. It might turn out that while you are an avid reader, translating literature is definitely not your thing. Surprisingly, medical translations might be “it” for you – since it’s the specific lexicon that matters and it’s quite hard to make mistakes due to the author’s misunderstood intentions. The choice of a preferred specialisation determines further professional development – such as purchasing dictionaries and collecting reference materials within one particular field. Conferences are a place where we can not only expand our knowledge, but also meet translators from all over the world. It’s worth to check out both those organised within one’s homeland and abroad.
How to become a sworn translator?
Similar requirements apply to professionals wishing to become sworn translators. It mostly concerns specialist knowledge about legal systems in foreign countries and in Poland, as well as effortless use of legal terms appearing in both source and target languages. One needs experience in translating contracts, birth, marriage and death certificates, criminal record certificates and various documents issued by courts. During an exam, a candidate for sworn translator also has to prove their interpreting skills. Personal aptitude plays a vital role here – it will probably be easier for those who enjoy cooperating with other people and work well in stressful environments. Clear pronunciation will certainly be an additional asset. Universities across the whole country organise special courses – these often take place on Saturdays and Sundays, making it possible to incorporate further education into your schedule. It’s worth remembering that having a diploma in any linguistic studies is not required to take the examination anymore. It was recently stated that holders of a master’s diploma in any other major can give it a try as well.
There are three most important factors that contribute to a successful career – gaining work experience, networking with other professionals and consistent expansion of one’s own portfolio. These might be common for many specialists. Meanwhile, choosing an appropriate type of business to fit one’s needs is a matter of personal preference – usually translators are self-employed and cooperate with translation agencies on a regular basis. The work of a translator opens up numerous possibilities. One of them makes it feasible to work from virtually any place in the world – the view from your office might as well feature snowy peaks in the Alps, narrow streets of an Italian town or blossoming cherry trees tucked away in a Japanese metropolis.