Translator job description

What is a translator?
Translators are professionals who spend their time to convert material from another language into their target language. They must ensure that the material they are translating stays as close to the original as possible. The material can be written, oral or even sign language.
What are the educational requirements?
When it comes to becoming a translator, your educational background can vary. The only thing that is usually required is that you are fluent in English and at least one other language. By fluent, it usually means that you are able to read, write, and speak the languages as a native speaker would.
If you are interested in becoming a translator while still in high school, you should take the time to focus on taking courses in English reading and writing comprehension, foreign languages, and even computer skills. Besides taking certain classes, if you are given the opportunity to spend time in a foreign country where you can be in direct contact with different types of language and cultures it is something you should consider.
Many employers who are looking for translators will require you to have a bachelor’s degree. Usually the major is in a certain language but that is not always the case. However, it is recommended you focus the majority of your courses in becoming as proficient as possible in whatever language you wish to pursue. If you talented enough, you can even pursue multiple languages and instead of being bi-lingual, you can be tri-lingual, which will open up many opportunities for your career.
Those who want to specify in a certain niche such as software localization, engineering or finance will be required to have a master’s degree due to the content of what you are translating. It is ideal to plan out what type of material you wish to translate to plan your college career accordingly.
What training and experience is needed to be a translator?
When you do get hired, there will likely be on-site training. This training is more about how the work should be done rather than your ability to speak the language. There might be a certain system or a specific way the employer wants you to translate the work.
Work experience is extremely important. In fact, there are times you cannot even get a position without any type of work related experience. You can gain experience through internships or even working for a translating company. While the internships may give you any monetary benefits, you will still gain some of the experience needed to put on your resume.
Are there any licenses or certifications required?
There is no universal certification for a translator but there are certain positions that will require you to have a certain certification of their choice. Government translating positions may require you to take a series of tests to display you skill in the occupation. If you are interested in becoming a translator for sign language, you may be required to be certified to become a general sign language translator.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/interpreters-and-translators.htm#tab-4
2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/27-3091.00

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