Many professional French translation agencies are often sought out by translators for work. And many of these firms are finding that the majority of people looking for work aren’t qualified to be interpreters or translators. Being bilingual is a really handy skill but fluency in a second (or third, fourth or even fifth) language means being able to speak, comprehend, read and write in that language at the level of a highly educated native speaker. Being fluent is only really the first step towards professional French translation. It requires training, experience and plenty of practice. Here are a few tips. |
If you want to become a translator, the first step is to get a certification or accreditation. Credentials mean you have the required skills to be a professional interpreter or translator.
Try to take reputable professional French translation language proficiency tests which look great on your resume. These tests show potential clients that you are fluent in French.
Building up experience is the next step. We’ve all had to start somewhere – be it via internships or entry-level jobs and this is the same in the language industry. If you live near to a college, take classes in professional French translation and seek opportunities to practice for campus departments. It’s vital that you get experience so that you’re able to show work samples to agencies and clients as well as get recommendations.
Once you’ve gained credentials and experience, start marketing yourself to police stations, law firms, government departments and professional French translation agencies that may require your services. Many translators enjoy working for clients on a contract basis.
You can start advertising your services by setting up a website, blogging or joining active communities of online translators. Be sure to have your resume, portfolio and rates ready. Not having your rates ready gives the impression of inexperience and lack of professionalism. If you’re unsure what to charge clients, look at other professional translator’s websites or call a few agencies for ideas.
Continue to Learn As your career progresses, you will need to consider a few other areas too. Perhaps you’d like to specialise in a particular industry. Be sure to constantly keep up with industry trends and terms and make sure that you remain computer savvy and knowledgeable when it comes to translation memory software.
Furthermore, you may like to be able to offer consecutive as well as simultaneous interpreting. If you are enjoying success as a professional translator, perhaps you would like to consider branching out and becoming a certified French medical or even court interpreter. These are a few helpful steps to becoming a professional French translation or even interpreter. It is a highly competitive industry that you would want to enter with knowledge, experience and training.
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