HOW TO START WORKING AS TRANSLATOR
(Tips to Enter Translation World)
WELCOME TO MY THREAD
Disclaimer: I made this thread not because Im the best translator here, but since I earn money for my living as full-time freelance translator, I think I just want to give all what I know about translation world. So, with deep respect to all Advanced Translators in Kaskus English Forum, I ask your permission to share .
I got inspiration to create this thread since several times I received message in my PM, asking about tips to start working as translator. I realized that many Kaskus English Forum citizens have mastered English well, want to have some income from translation, but they just didnt know how to start.
Here I try to give some tips for you who want to enter translation world.
What is translator?
Many of us simply thought that translators job simply changing a word from source language into target language. Well, it can be as simple as that or it can be more complicated. Exchanging a text from source language into target language sometimes made us think about what term or word appropriately used on the context. Once again, C.O.N.T.E.X.T is the ultimate thing we should focus on to transfer the meaning of a text. Well Im not going to discuss further about how to translate since it would need deeper discussion (and theres a specific study about it).
Return to the translators work. Is it true that translators work only evolves around translating text? Well, actually according to Language Resource Center Wake Forest University (LRS WFU), there are 11 category of translation work, they are:
1.Translator: Person who convert a script from source language to target language
2.Interpreter: Person who translates oral message verbally from one language to other language.
3.Terminologist: Person whose job finding certain term from one language to other language to facilitate communication.
4.Editor: Person who review translation script to repair the grammar and term, included the whole meaning of discourse
5.Subtitler: Person who gave translation text synchronized with dialog in a movie or television show.
6.Transcriptionist: Person whose job listening recorded voice and word from oral message of a language, and change it into written translation in target language.
7.Localizor: Person whose job fit certain product to locality, target market, or certain language group. Localizing commonly related with software industries.
8.Lexicographer: Person who developed entry or definition of a word, term, or concept to be inserted into dictionary.
9.Linguist: Person who search the right parable in a language unit in source script without focusing on cultural factors or contextual. Linguist made syntax and grammatical for translation program.
10.Project Manager: Person whose job monitoring all translation process.
11.Language engineer: Person whose job making software to make localizing process simpler.
What are the benefits to be Translator?
U.S. News has compiled a list of the predicted best 50 careers for 2011. They took account on which jobs would provide an above-average median income, and the careers for which the number of jobs is expected to increase. Interpreter/Translator appears in the subcategory Creative and Service Jobs. Here are many other reasons why becoming a translator is a good career move for individuals with the necessary skills and dedication:
1.Being your own boss
2.Flexible working hours
3.Flexibility of workload - can work as many or as few hours as you like
4.Can reject projects if not suitable rather than having to do whatever youre given.
5.Working from home
6.Support & Advice from the translator community
7.Save us from early senility (true)
According to my own experience, being freelance translator gave me enough money contribution (certainly higher above the minimum regional salary UMR), enough time to do household work (you wont believe that I clean all the house, wash the clothes and dishes still I cant cook), exercising (I can routinely go to the gym), socializing (go to the café or visiting friends), and as you knew Ngaskus
What we need to be a Translator?
Our weapons as translator are:
Mastery of source language and target language
Theres no doubt that it is the most important thing for translator. If you are an English <--> Indonesia translator, dont underestimate Bahasa Indonesia mastery. Its important to transfer the meaning, not just translating words.
Real Translator looks at dictionary three or four times than common people. It is to make sure that they didnt make any mistake in translating a term. Remember, Translator ≠ Walking Dictionaries. Counting on online dictionary is not bad at all. Some of the trusted source I often use are:
1. Kateglo Bahtera
2. The Free Dictionary
3. Simply type the word on Google. Example: "Bon Appetit" definition --> click on search --> You'll find alternative result
It is really important, or it would take forever to finish your translation work
Good Internet Connection
Working as translator in this era needs good Internet connection to support our work. Most job send by email, translators could interact each other by Net, and we can aware about culture development through the Net.
Mastering some CAT (Computer-Aided Translation Tool) programs would support you
CAT program is a kind of program which can integrate with your word processor. It really helped you to translate fast and easy, especially if you have done many works which can be used as Translation Memory.
The program work by changing directly a language source into language target for similar word you have translated previously. So if you put a nearly similar document (especially law document which have near format), it will make your job lighter.
Popular program in translation world are Wordfast and Trados
Now, the important discussion: HOW WE COULD ENTER TRANSLATION MARKET?
According to my own experience, these are steps to enter translation market:
1.Joining Translation Agency as in-house translator
One of difficulty found by beginner translator is: How can we judge our own work? Is it good or bad? Actually we can simply let the customer decide, but it certainly would be suicide if they got upset about our work. So, joining Translation Agency will give us advantage since there must be an editor on the agency who assessed our work first before its given to the customer. There we can also learn from advanced translator on the agency.
2.Starting to accept translation work from our environment
Friends and relatives are good place to start marketing our service. If you were college student, many of your friend would need your service since there are many journal and book in foreign language used by the college students. Also, friends and relatives certainly would forgive us if there are some mistakes in our translation, but certainly we should take a bit lower rate on them.
3.Marketing your service on the Net
There are many ways to market your service on the Net. [url]www.translatorscafe.com[/url] and [url]www.proz.com[/url] are some of international translator site which would help you to market your service. Certainly you can also go to FJB Kaskus to promote your translation service there.
4.Sending Application to Publisher
There are many publisher in Indonesia, such as Gramedia, Gagasmedia, Mizan, and so on. You can write an application letter to work as translator for them. In this case, they will send you a kind of test to see your proficiency in translating. After you passed the test, they will send an official contract. You can also offer them your translation work to be published. Their address could be found easily through Internet search Engine.
5.Joining Translators Group
Joining Translators Group would give you support in finding confusing terms, job chances, and many more advantage. The official translators group in Indonesia is Association of Indonesian Translators (Himpunan Penerjemah Indonesia) which based in Jakarta. By this Association, you can have a chance to get title as sworn translator and following many trainings and workshops. Further explanation about HPI can be found in [url]www.hpi.or.id[/url]. The other group, Bahtera is an informal translators group which has almost 3000 members where you can find good support and chance to work with the best translators in Indonesia. Complete information about Bahtera can be found in [url]www.bahtera.org[/url].
Ok. Thats all from me. Feel free to PM/VM me to ask about Translator World. I certainly will answer you as far as I knew. Since its not the Lounge I wont ask you to give rate or Cendol thing.
I would be glad if some of Advanced Translators whom I proudly met in Kaskus, can give additional tips. If you want to know who are they, you can go to Guild of Translator Thread, since it wont be polite if I mention their name here.