I recently got a question from a reader about the next steps she should take in pursuing a translation career.
Here it is:
I’m 22 and just graduated from Indiana University Northwest last December with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. Going into college, all I knew was that I love the language, and it wasn’t until my senior year when I took an introductory translation class that I realized how much I’d enjoy that type of work.
I then decided to head over to Purdue University Calumet to get their Certificate in Spanish Translation, since I feared a degree with a title as broad as “Spanish” would get me nowhere. Currently, I’m only one course away from earning it.
So my question is, with what I have under my belt now, where can I work? I know that in the near future I will definitely want further education that is specialized (I’m thinking along the lines of audiovisual and/or literary translation), but I don’t exactly have the funds for that right now; what kinds of businesses or government agencies could I apply to in the meantime so that I obtain some real experience in the industry?
Is there anyone that would hire someone like me, who has a very basic understanding of translation as a skill but who nonetheless has studied Spanish for the past eleven years?
Is it unreasonable and unrealistic to hope that I don’t have too difficult a time finding a full-time job, an actual career?
If so, what about a paid internship? Would that be a good move for someone pursuing a translation career?
Obviously I’m not going to be picky with the sorts of translations I might have to do and the types of documents I might have to work with. As long as I can deal with Spanish on a regular basis I’ll be happy, until I’m able to go back to school and hone my skills. It should be said that, until I have more schooling and training, I’m not comfortable starting out as a freelance translator, unless that is the only route I can take at this point.
So what do you all think?
What advice do you have for our fellow translator pursuing a translation career?
Post your comments and thoughts below.
P.S. If you want to become a successful freelance translator, a good choice would be to read my book.