Ever been in one of those peculiar states of mind where you feel like you are on the very brink of finding your dream career, yet for some annoying reason you can’t quite figure out what you want to do?
Take a look at the list below. If you recognize yourself in all (or most) of these points, there’s a huge chance becoming a translator might appear to be your path to success and joy (careerwise).
1. You have a passion for languages. This one’s a must, it goes without saying really. You can never enjoy translating if you don’t have a passion for languages.
2. You love learning and constant self-development. I realize this one in particular is a prerequisite to success in just about any profession in today’s competitive world. When it comes to languages though, you just never, I mean really never stop learning. Why? Well, for one thing, the abundance of words in any language makes it impossible to ever learn all of them. Unless, of course, you’ve decided to learn Taki Taki (also called Sranan), a 340-word language spoken in Suriname, also known as the language with the fewest words.
3. You love challenges: I promise to elaborate a bit more on the challenges in the translator’s job in a next post, so for the time being you’ll just have to take my word for it (trust me though, you do need to be a challenge-lover!).
4. You enjoy doing research of virtually any kind: from researching a particularly tricky term in dictionaries, to wider research on related topics for the purposes of getting a clearer grasp on a subject or idea.
5. You are well-organized: Being organized is one of the things you have to be, if you want to get as much as possible done in as little as possible time. A very valuable skill in today’s fast-paced environment, what with all the strict deadlines relentlessly closing in on us all the time!
6. You are capable of working long hours and under pressure – with urgent and/or high-volume projects, sometimes workloads can seem quite impossible to handle. Therefore, being able to focus and concentrate on the job despite having already spent too many hours on it, is essential.
7. You have a strong attention to detail – this is a skill of a paramount importance in the translation field, especially with regard to proofreading, which is an integral part of the translation process.
While this list is certainly not exhaustive, it still clearly indicates you might want to consider pursuing a career in translation – if you possess the above personal traits and skills.