100 Tips for Becoming a Translator

100 Tips on Becoming a Translator

Becoming a translator can be hard. It can be simple, yes, but it can still be hard work.

You don’t just become a translator because all of a sudden one day you decide you want to be one and so guess what now you are one.

Becoming a translator takes time, takes patience, takes a sense of humor, and takes discipline that not everyone has.

However, if you are interested in becoming a translator, here are 100 tips on becoming a translator. Be warned, though. Some are universal. Some only apply to me. And others could be considered heresy amongst other translators.

100 Tips to Becoming a Translator

  1. There is more than one way to set up your translation business.
  2. Don’t waste time on social media.
  3. A hashtag isn’t usually going to get you a job.
  4. Translation agencies are not the devil.
  5. You can make money as a translator in a bunch of different ways.
  6. Your language skills aren’t as important as you think they are.
  7. Learning marketing will save your business.
  8. Friends and family can be a great source of translation work.
  9. If you’re not taking care of your body, your translation business will suffer.
  10. Treat your translation business like a job where you’re the boss, not a peon worker.
  11. Make your workspace private so you can concentrate.
  12. Distractions will kill your business.
  13. Arguing with Internet trolls will kill your business.
  14. Learn how to keep an accurate accounting of your income and expenses.
  15. A translation certification will not save your business or get you more clients.
  16. Your family wont’ understand why you want to be a translator.
  17. Don’t become a translator just because you want to stay home and work.
  18. Your spouse needs to buy in to your vision of becoming a translator.
  19. Most translators choose their language before choosing their career. It should be the other way around.
  20. You can learn another language when you’re an adult.
  21. The Internet is the great equalizer.
  22. You are not special.
  23. The best advice for overcoming an obstacle on your journey is to get to work.
  24. Time management can make or break your translation career.
  25. Not all translators are freelancers. There are still plenty of translation careers working for a company.
  26. Becoming a translator will not make you millions of dollars.
  27. However, becoming a translator can lead to more lucrative opportunities.
  28. Learn to translate fast.
  29. Don’t obsess over being perfect.
  30. Plan your day out the night before.
  31. Chunk your time out in increments and then work like crazy during those chunks.
  32. Rest when needed.
  33. Don’t become a slave to the internet.
  34. Discipline will separate the real professional translators from those who merely want to be one.
  35. Only you can make success as a freelance translator a reality.
  36. Learn to not blame others for your situation in life.
  37. Luck is real.
  38. Opportunities are all around. Learn to open your eyes to them and take every one that comes your way.
  39. Learn to love suffering.
  40. Question your motives.
  41. Always ask for a portion of the payment up front.
  42. Build your own translator platform.
  43. The more potential clients that see your name, the more work you will have.
  44. Building your business is more than just setting up a website.
  45. Drop troublesome clients without hesitation.
  46. Establish your language resources early on.
  47. Learn how to type faster.
  48. If you can delegate out tasks you don’t do well or fast, do it.
  49. You don’t have to make a lot to be satisfied financially or otherwise.
  50. Don’t waste your time on translation courses.
  51. The U.S. Government hires a lot of language speakers to be translators. Get a job there if you want to work as an in-house translator.
  52. Don’t go to China expecting to find a lot of work as a Chinese-to-English translator.
  53.  Supply and demand are real forces in translation work.
  54. Question what drives you to want to become a translator.
  55. Don’t study translation at school. Get a STEM degree and then translate in that field.
  56. Don’t translate in your pajamas.
  57. Working from home is better than you can imagine.
  58. LinkedIn is the only social media account you should have. All others are a death sentence.
  59. Don’t be afraid to get help from others, even strangers online.
  60. Remember that not everyone has your best interests at heart.
  61. Don’t translate in front of the TV.
  62. You don’t have to be a morning person or a night person to become a translator. Find the time that works for you.
  63. Be willing to be put in uncomfortable positions.
  64. Ask yourself tough questions about the state of your translation business.
  65. Never Give Up is not always the best option.
  66. Be creative in how you run your business. It’s yours, not mine, and not anyone else’s.
  67. There are a million and one paths to success. Don’t be dead set on following someone else’s footsteps.
  68. Become a better writer in your source language.
  69. Study your target language fifteen minutes a day.
  70. Reading will improve your translation speed and accuracy.
  71. Spamming translation agencies with your resume will not get you a job.
  72. The thoughts in your head lead to what you do and who you become.
  73. Daily affirmations can work miracles once you get over the idea of talking to yourself.
  74. Finding a mentor can be invaluable in your journey.
  75. Every obstacle you face can be overcome.
  76. Don’t give up too early and don’t hang on too late.
  77. Making money as a translator is more than the money you make as a translator.
  78. Learn to approach your business unconventionally.
  79. If you have an idea, act on it. The worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work.
  80. Every translator has a bad day.
  81. Don’t put a lot of stock in translation organizations.
  82. Certification is not the end-all be-all of translation.
  83. Translation specialization is vital to success.
  84. There are more ways to make money with your language skills than just by becoming a translator.
  85. Networking can help save your translation business.
  86. Pay close attention any non-disclosure agreements that you sign.
  87. You don’t have to pay $1000s for translation software in order to get started.
  88. You’re never too old to become a translator.
  89. Translation pricing is more an art than a science.
  90. Starting out as a part-time translator before becoming translator full-time is a great strategy.
  91. Bad clients are the worst.
  92. Translation and interpretation are not the same thing.
  93. Learn how to edit your work.
  94. Translation scams are alive and well. Learn how to avoid them.
  95. Online translation courses can be a positive alternative to traditional college work.
  96. Your determination and grit will determine your success.
  97. Make your own path.
  98. Have fun or its not worth it.
  99. Work on becoming a translator every single day.
  100. Read my books.

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