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Reasons to Become a Professional Translator

We celebrate International Translator Day annually on September 30th. But what are the reasons to become a professional translator?

At a glance, translation is the conversion of written text between the source language and the target language. While this is the definition of translation in its most basic form, it is also much more exciting than that.

Translation services

Translation is a skill that translators hone over time. It requires creativity, flexibility, and the ability to think outside the box to bring the original meaning of the text to a new cultural viewpoint. Translators are responsible for bringing Netflix subtitles to millions of viewers; or bestselling novels from other countries to a new audience of readers. They translate important legal text and life-saving medical documents.

Translators were even responsible for decoding messages during wartime. It is an industry that is expanding at a rapid pace; covers many different fields, and continues to grow with technology. Let’s explore the main reasons to become a professional translator!

A Growing and Expansive Industry

An important factor to consider translation as a profession is the industry’s substantial growth rate and its growth projection.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of translation job opportunities to rise by 19% from 2018–2028; with the average growth rate for all other careers being at only 11% growth in comparison. This is quite a significant gap. In addition, they expect the creation of 14,600 jobs within the industry.

The significant growth rate for the Translation & Interpretation services industry is an attractive aspect for anyone looking to explore a new career.

Despite advances in translation technology, the need for human translators is not expected to decrease anytime within the foreseeable future. Translation technology, regardless its interesting improvements, is still in the beginning stages and not very reliable. Rather than solely using technology, the best choice is always to use a professional translator who uses Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools.

Furthermore, there is a need for translators across many different specialties. There are many niches that need translation support. Some of them are medical, legal, and marketing.

Translators spend their professional lives continuously learning and developing their knowledge, becoming experts in one or more of these fields. Translators can choose or change their specialization according to what interests them most; which makes it a great career choice for those who value personal freedom.

Freelance Work/Flexible

The flexibility and freedom that comes with the job is a very convincing reason to become a professional translator. The majority of operating translators are independent contractors or freelance professionals. These translators work for language service companies like Global Arena. Agencies handle account management and client contact, along with the project management lifecycle. Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools and translation memories are some of the tools that agencies put in place to ensure the utmost quality of the translation provided in one or multiple languages to the client.

When a translation job is ready, an in-house project manager from Global Arena will assemble a translation team. After the translator completes the translation step, the editor will review/rives the translation and provide any recommendation. The rest of the process falls on the agency. Sometimes the translator and the editor might receive a few questions regarding terminology or client preference.

Freelancers are usually free to set their own hours and accept or reject jobs at their own pace and convenience. Therefore, for many becomes an attractive form of employment. Translators have the freedom to work with as many agencies as they choose. Due to the capability to work remotely, translators can live anywhere and travel freely!

Uncapped Earning Potential

Within the translation industry there is a wide range of work levels. A translator can provide translations for a local business and also work on complex government translations. The level and amount of work the translator chooses to accept determines their earning potential.

There are a number of reasons to consider becoming a professional Translator. The translation and interpretation services industry is still growing despite the increase in the sophistication of translation technology and Internet-generated translations.

If you are looking for a career that is not in danger of becoming obsolete, allows a flexible schedule and greater income potential, explore becoming a professional translator.

One of the certifications that Global Arena considers when looking for new talent is certification by the American Translators Association. Visit www.atanet.org in order to learn more about how to become a skilled translator.


U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/interpreters-and-translators.htm#tab-6

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