Friday, January 20, 2012

Becoming a translator, French and English?

I need lots of info on becoming a translator! my first language would be English. how do you become a translator? what is the salary, is it wellpaying? what different types of translation are there? would it be better living in France to be a translator? etc! please help!Becoming a translator, French and English?
I graduated in the late 1960s with a degree in French and German, at a time when translation was at the heart of modern foreign language study. In the event, I went into teaching, but I've done some translating too during my teaching career and I spent many years posting on FLEFO, CompuServe's translators' forum, where I learned a lot about what translators actually did.

My first observation is that you'll always be better translating from your foreign language into your mother tongue unless you are completely bilingual, i.e. you have an English-speaking and a French-speaking parent, or at the very least you have lived in both countries at an early age. My second is that you really need to think about what you are hoping to translate; if you are planning to translate, say, legal, medical or scientific documents, you really need to have in-depth subject knowledge of the law, medicine or science so that you fully understand the technical content. If you try to "wing it", you'll be found out very quickly by the professionals who will tell you that your choice of vocabulary is all wrong, even when you think you've done a good job getting the text into your mother tongue. Your client is a professional, not a lay person. So take courses in legal, health, science studies with an eye to the use of language within each professional domain.

If I recall correctly, payment is usually by the number of words you are asked to translate rather than by the time you spend on a translation. Deadlines can be very tight, so there's little time for "polishing up" a rough effort. There are computer programs to assist translators containing "translation memory" of key phrases that render neatly into the mother tongue a particular expression in the foreign language. Google can help too, not Google Translate, which is pretty hopeless, but an online search for websites that are posted in two or more languages, which can be a life-saver if you chance upon a complex piece of technical vocabulary in, say, French and you want to track down its English equivalent, but keep a critical eye upon because some multilingual websites are created using Google Translate with predictably hilarious results. Oh, and invest in a set of good bilingual dictionaries, not just general ones, but also ones specialising in legal, medical, scientific language etc. Good luck!Becoming a translator, French and English?
it depends your preference.

hang in there.

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