How to become a translator ?

 How to become a translator ?

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They know enough who know how to learn.

Henry Adams, 1836–1918

People usually become translators in one of 

two ways. Either by design or by 

circumstance.

There are no formal academic qualifications 

required to work as a translator but

advertisements for translators in the press 

and professional journals tend to ask for

graduates with professional qualifications and 
three years’ experience.

Many countries have professional 

organisations for translators and if the 

organisation

is a member of the Fédération Internationale 

des Traducteurs (FIT) it will have 

demonstrated

that it sets specific standards and levels of 

academic achievement for

membership. The translation associations 

affiliated to FIT can be found on FIT’s

website – www.fit-ift.org. Two organisations 

in the United Kingdom set examinations

for professional membership. These are the 

Institute of Linguists and the Institute of

Translation and Interpreting. To gain a 

recognised professional qualification through

membership of these associations you must 

meet certain criteria. Comprehensive details

of professional associations for translators in 

the United Kingdom are given in Chapter

10.

If you have completed your basic education 

and have followed a course of study to

become a translator, you will then need to 

gain experience. As a translator, you will

invariably be asked to translate every 

imaginable subject. The difficulty is accepting 

the

fact that you have limitations since you are 

faced with the dilemma of ‘How do I gain

experience if I don’t accept translations or do 
I accept translations to get the experience?’.


Ideally as a fledgling translator you should 


work under the guidance of a more 


experienced colleague
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