How to Become a Translator

If you know two or more languages then you can consider taking the translation as an add-on career option or a full time profession. This profession is one of the fastest growing career options. Being a translator offers so many options and choices, it is also a spectacular way to meet people. But the aspiring person also has to become gifted in interpreting situations. First, you should know about source and target language. Source language is the language in which the original text you are going to translate is in. Target language is the one to which you are going to translate to.


  • Fluent in at least two languages.
  • A translation degree or certification is an added advantage, especially if you are trying for government vacancies.
  • You should have a vast knowledge in the field which you want to specialize.
  • Write in your native language impeccably and have a flair for researching the technical subjects.
  • You should have a superlative command in the style of writing and grammar of the target language and good comprehensive skills in the source language.
  • Know the nuances, tendencies and the culture and customs of your country.
  • Choose your area of specialization like: medical, legal, literature, spectacular cuisines, tourism and so forth.
  • Have a PC, a word processor, internet connection, fax facility, suitable dictionaries and thesaurus.
  • Should possess a good marketing ability to achieve a better translation rate.
  • Be reachable in many ways. Such as: mobile phones, fax, e-mail, voice phones, answering phones, voice messages and so on.
  • Develop a strong work ethic that revolves around honoring deadlines and due dates.
  • Double-check your translation work for consistency, spelling, and accuracy before pressing the send button.

Being a Successful Translator

Take online training courses to become a freelance translator - since they encompass the methods to clients, quote better translation rates, acquire certification and also to market themselves. Some of the popular courses are The Certificate in Liaison Interpretation and LANG6200 Liaison Interpreting. For all such courses the eligibility is: At least 20 years of age, a four year secondary school education, be an outstanding listener and approved credits in at least two of the subjects in the school semester.

Critical Information

  • Learn to translate using an accurate language, to improve your vocabulary base. 
  • Practice in language labs.
  • Prepare a clear and excellently presented CV. It should offer a brief description about your education and qualifications.
  • The CV should also clearly indicate the source and target language (native language) you are adept in and express which variants of the particular language you are opting for, for instance: American or British English.

Career Opportunities

  • Jump start your career as a voluntary or "pro bono" translator with any of the nonprofit organizations. There are always openings in this arena. You may have to travel outside of your immediate area though.
  • Liaison interpreter in medical, community or legal circles