Initially, the idea of working in professional translation may not appeal to everyone. You imagine it being a process where there is a lot of studying, an awful lot of practice and a long time spent pouring over individual words and phrases to get to grips with language nuances, what the author or document is getting across and being a stickler for detail. And that’s not even beginning to look at the think-on-your-feet mental abilities of an interpreter! A professional translator and an professional interpreter, though many people will work at both, perform different roles. A translator works with the written word; be it legal documents like birth certificates and wedding certificates, books or written media for newspapers, magazines etc. An interpreter translates the spoken word.
The Benefits of Working as Professional Translator
In working as a translator, you have to know at least two languages inside out and develop an understanding of how to transfer meaning and tone between the two.
The benefits begin with the sheer variety of what you get to work and and what you have the opportunity to learn about. After sufficient training, education, practice and certification, you’ll should be able to translate for any industry or area. If you’re someone who likes to learn new things this is ideal. The joy of learning about anything and everything is one that rests well with many people and it gives you the chance to expand your understanding of so many aspects of life. One day you may be translating educational materials or papers, the next learning something about compliance procedures for a large organisation. If you’re happy to be learning, no matter what the subject, you’ll likely be happy at work most days! And with spending so much time on reading, understanding and translating, this new knowledge really sinks in.
Secondly, I believe languages and the written word are an art form, no matter what form they they take. Translating from one language to another can give you an appreciation for aspects of the culture of the country’s tongue you’re dealing with. Certain elements of language can give us clues about their culture. Irish is a good example. Many phrases in Irish are incredibly poetic. When you want to say a place is busy, in Irish the phrase is “Dubh le daoine”, literally translating as “Black with people”. It’s a clue to the poetic nature of history of literature in the country and there are a number of examples of it.
Lastly, you have the chance to use your creative mind every day. As the written word is part of a culture, and as as mentioned above, almost an art form, transferring the meaning to another language takes not only a great understanding of the technical functions of the language but a skill for creativity within the lines! It’s a challenge but a great mental exercise for your brain. I have no doubt that practicing this kind of creativity every day also contributes to your creative skills in other areas. Not to mention the great ‘brain work out’ you’re getting.
The Benefits of Working as Professional Interpreter
Working as an interpreter adds even more dynamism into your role as a bi-lingual or multi-lingual professional.
In becoming an interpreter, if you haven’t grown up within a lingual culture or family, you’re going to have to spend some time practicing! If you adore getting to know people from different backgrounds and countries, and love travel, it’s an excellent way to improve your skills and even before becoming qualified, you’ll likely be having a great time getting there.
If you’re learning a new language to become a translator, choose a language, culture and country combination that intrigues you and excites you so that you can look forward to immersing yourself in the culture.
In day to day work, it’s also exciting. Working as a corporate translator at meetings, events etc., you get to meet a lot of people and get the opportunity to learn a lot.
If the idea of being stuck at a desk all day every day is not for you, heading out into the world as an interpreter may suit you to a tee! And it’s not just for corporate events and business meetings; you could find yourself at cultural activities, interpreting for tourists in interesting history spots or in an educational context. If you’re someone who can think fast and enjoys it, it could just be the job for you.