Communicating in Spanish is important for US companies for several reasons. First, Spanish is the…
Becoming a Spanish translator is a richly rewarding career choice that allows many professionals in that field to genuinely help those in need of translation services. But while they are doing that, they are also absorbing dense, new information about the world and the way we communicate. Although the rewards of a career as a Spanish translator are many, there are some things that must be done in order to become a professional in this field. If you are considering a career as a Spanish translator or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you are considering the option of hiring a Spanish translator for your business or organization, get familiar with the top four things that are needed to officially become a professional translator in this language.
- A Bachelor’s Degree: Most private businesses that directly hire a translator or agencies that translators could work for will not hire anyone that does not have a four year college degree. While majoring in linguistics or the Spanish language is not necessarily required, it will most likely be preferred by anyone looking for a Spanish translator. Nevertheless, a Bachelor’s degree in a field somewhat relative to the career you want will be a prerequisite before considering life as a Spanish translator. If you have not yet attended college, plan on taking plenty of additional courses related to culture, language, and literature. Having a rich understanding of the culture of the language you are learning will give you a serious advantage and really make you stand out to future employers. Plus, clients will be more likely to hire someone they trust knows the language and culture thoroughly in all of its complexities. Successful translators would also advise that anyone considering a career as a Spanish translator should spend plenty of time in a Spanish-speaking region. Consider studying abroad in Spain, Mexico, or certain countries in South America (depending on the type of Spanish you want to learn). Also, begin reading as many books and watching everything you can in both your native tongue and the Spanish language.
- The Proper Training: Being fluently bilingual simply isn’t enough to be a successful translator. While speaking two languages (at least) is the most obvious skill needed to be a successful translator, there are still several other skills a person must posses. Those skills come through specialized training. Once you are fluent in the Spanish language, begin working on special skills. One way to do that is to identify the type of translating you want to do. Do you want to translate legal documents? Or do you want to focus strictly on medical translation? Perhaps you are more passionate about translating marketing material and business websites. Identify what type of specialized translating you want to do so that you can get the right training. For example, although a translator doesn’t need to become a doctor or moonlight in the medical field to become a medical translator, they should have an interest in medicine and takes a few courses in it to be familiar with what they are translating.
- Certification: Once you have your education and specialized training behind you, the next step is to get certified. While there might be some clients and agencies that exist that don’t care about certification, it is definitely strongly recommended since many others won’t even consider a translator without it. Don’t lose out on potential job opportunities simply because you skipped over the certification step. There are several different certification options out there so if you are confused about which one to obtain, ask for advise from a current Spanish translator and consider their suggestions. However, specialized translators, such as those in the legal realm, actually need to go though a unique process to get that particular certification. Therefore, based on your specialized type of training, you might have to go through a different certification process.
- Experience: Even though education, training, and certification are important and necessary steps, nothing replaces experience. Fewer things are more valuable than hands-on learning and that can only be done by experiencing it first-hand. When you get the right experience, you will have greater employment opportunities available to you. Whether you want to work for a volunteer organization, corporation, school, or any other entity, you need to prove that you have the experience in Spanish translation that they are looking for. To get that experience, there is a good chance that you will have to consider less glamorous, lower-paying jobs; most Spanish translators might even have to go through an internship before landing a job. If you are fresh out of school with your certification in hand, network with as many people as possible with as much confidence as possible. Volunteer your services, find a mentor to learn from…if you are willing to put in the work, that experience will pay off and before you know it you will have a broader range of Spanish translation jobs available to you.
Looking for more advice on starting your career as a Spanish translator? Or perhaps you are in the market for Spanish translation services and want to know how to find the most qualified translators to get the job done right. Whatever you are in need of, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our company provides high quality translation services in Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Swedish, and several other languages. Whether you need translation for medical purposes, legal, or marketing, we are here for you.