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Pursuing a Career as a Translator – Learn to Translate Spanish

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If you are interested in a career in translating you are entering a growing industry.

If you are fluent in another language – such as Spanish, you can earn a living as a translator, and there is a growing ‘work-at-home’ element in this industry made available with the prevalence of e-mail.

You may or may not need formal qualifications, but you do need to have learnt Spanish to a high level to be able to translate Spanish.

Difference between translating & interpreting?

Translating is usually where you say take a document in Spanish translate it into English (or whatever other language you are working in).

Interpreting is translating spoken words ‘on-the-fly’ as they are spoken. It is often a very interesting way of meeting diverse and interesting people.

Translators translate any of a number of documents and publications.

These can be technical manuals, articles, letters, sales brochures, fiction, screenplays, films, books, novels, training manuals, computer software instruction books, instruction leaflets on how to install a gadget, business reports, and more and more commonly websites, webpages and web sales scripts.

There is also a constant demand for specialist translation – medical, legal, insurance, international trade, engineering etc etc, and a specialist knowledge in such a niche can mean that you can earn or charge an extra premium for your skills.

The key to good translation is to convey the feel and meaning of what the document’s author is trying to convey.

Ideally the writer should have a very good feel for both cultures, and should have lived in the countries which are being targetted.

The industry of translation is now a $20 billion business, and is exploding due to th explosion of the internet and internet business.

If you want to make a living where you translate Spanish to English and English to Spanish there is no better time.

How to get work where you translate Spanish to English or English to Spanish

(…or any other language in which you may be fluent).

Becoming a Translator

If you are not a fully bi-lingual native speaker you should have a degree in the language and have spent at least a year in total immersion in a country that speaks that language.

Ideally this should be in the target country of your translations.

You can now specialise in translation at univeristy or college.

Here is a useful website of the American Translators Association which tells you all about it, and their accreditation programmes.There are numerous websites now where freelancers can get work translating.

Advantages & Disadvantages of being a Spanish Translator

The main advantage with this skill is that you can work your own hours, because you will normally work as a freelancer.

You can also work from anywhere in the world with reasonable electronic communication means…. which is pretty much any main city or town in the world.

So you can be parked at the beach in Mexico, Chile, Spain and get paid to translate Spanish documents.

And you can work your own hours if you are at home.

You will need a computer and internet access. A laptop is all you need, so the set-up costs are minimal and there is little need for formal office facilities and the ensuing rent etc.

You will need a good set of dictionaries and Thesaurus equivalents – dictionaries of antonyms and synonyms etc.

Getting Work translating Spanish to English

The biggest disadvantage of freelancing is that you are in essence a solo business person, or entrepreneur.

You therefore need to go out and bring business in to you. This means listing with translating companies.

You will need learning how to charge properly so that you do not end up undercharging and working for a pittance, and at below your cost.

Some places to try for work in Spanish translation

Here are a few places to start. There are many dozens of others.

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