While a career as a translator can be quite rewarding, the field is also quite competitive. Many bilingual people wrongly think that their knowledge of language is all they need in order to work as a translator. The truth is that translation requires a vast set of abilities that include both language expertise, as well as cultural and interpersonal understanding. The trick to getting work is demonstrating that you have these necessary skills while standing out from the crowd.
Showing off your specialized skills in order to get noticed is paramount to getting work as a freelance translator.
Freelancing and working from home as a translator makes the level of competition even more significant. When working from home you are now competing with prospective translators from all over the world.
To help you get the attention of employers, we are going to discuss the necessary translation skills needed on a resume for a translator. You should ensure that your resume highlights these aspects, and if it can’t, you should get the experience so that it can.
The 5 Translator Skills Needed to Be a Freelancer
Many people still wrongly believe you only need to be fluent in two or more languages to be a translator. The truth is that a skilled translator requires several social, ethical, and self-motivational traits that can be hard to find.
To offer quality translation services, you must develop (and be able to convey on your resume) the following essential abilities:
1. Above-Average Ability in your Native Language
To accurately convey the nuances of a statement in another language, you must be able to draw from an extensive vocabulary. If your vocabulary is limited, your translation will be stunted. If the initial statement is at a level you are unable to cope with, whether technical or intellectual, you will be unable to adequately convey their message correctly.
Before you hope to transfer the message into a language, you must have a complete mastery of that language. If you lack skills, you limit someone’s potential to communicate.
2. Excellent command of your Second Language
For much the same reasons you must be a master of your native language, you must also master the second language in question. Merely replacing a sentence word for word is already done by web browsers -and with lackluster results. You must be able to convey the meaning, tone, and sentiment of a statement more so than the literal words -this requires a deep understanding of how a language works and how much weight certain words have in a culture.
Even minor word choices can dramatically influence the tone and tenor of a statement. The entire art form of poetry is based on that reality.
3. In-Depth Knowledge of Both Cultures
Different cultures and subcultures have their own slang and metaphors, and often the speakers are not even aware that these ‘sayings’ are unique to their region. Sometimes seemingly benign phrases can carry great insult, and often matter-of-fact statements may appear on the surface as complete gibberish. Language is more than words, it is human interaction, and you must understand how humans interact in a given place to translate to and from that language properly.
There are whole articles based on embarrassing translation blunders that stem from cultural misunderstandings. Literal wars have occurred from bad translations.
4. Social Skills and Charisma
A true translator must understand the cultural relevance of a statement, as well as have the social skills and abilities to understand context and nuance. An anti-social translator will have more significant issues conveying and understand the correct human sentiment.
Showing you are capable of this can be as simple as demonstrating experience in some form of customer service, teaching, or hospitality job; any job where you interacted with customers in a variety of formats, and that has shown that you can be trusted to do so responsibly.
Improv and comedy classes are also some of the quickest ways to force yourself to become more extroverted and faster with your words.
5. Self-motivation, organization, and discipline
Working for yourself is hard. You have to market yourself, talk to clients, and ensure you are meeting all your deadlines -and that’s not counting the actual translation work. Working for yourself is true work, and it is not for everybody.
Employers need to know that you have proper time management, organization, and have a good solid routine. One of the biggest complaints that you hear about freelancers is the regularity work output. Be a worker they can trust to get the job done.
Number 6: What Skills Do You Offer Clients? What is Unique About You?
Past those five critical skills needed to be a freelancer, what skills do you offer clients? Necessary translation skills are just the beginning. Think outside the box. Remember, you want to stand out from all the noise on the internet these days. Be a translator worth noticing.
Make sure employers see that your basic translation skills are top-notch, and then give them something to remember.
Making an effort to get further cultural experiences, jobs where you interact with VIP’s or personnel in a formal setting, the possibilities for showing your unique skills and abilities are endless. This is the downside of only going off a freelance translator resume sample. A resume based on a freelance translator resume sample will look just like all the rest. They will have the necessary translation skills on a resume and little else.
Pay a little bit to have a professional help you articulate and design your resume -this is your career you are investing in.