Getting hired as a freelance translator takes more than just saying you know multiple languages and are capable of the role. To start you need to have a linguistics degree in the subject you want to translate that was obtained in the country that speaks the language you want to translate into. Of course, the more experience you have the better. On top of standing out to your potential employer or client, you need to have these top 5 skills to help ensure your success.
Writing, Reading & Comprehension Skills
This might be pretty obvious, but it’s also worth mentioning because of its importance. Being able to write in your native language with proper grammar, spelling and of course different writing styles is very important. It goes without saying that if you are able to write well in your native language that your reading skills and comprehension skills are up to par.
Reading and comprehension becomes more important with your source languages. This is because you need to be able to read and comprehend what is being said in order to translate it correctly into your native language.
The better these skills are in all languages that you are fluent in, the better your chances are to be hired, especially if they are languages in need and you have the experience.
Some words or phrases can mean one thing in one language and something completely different in another. Yes, context is important, but understanding the use of a word or phrase and how it can vary across languages is more important.
You will need to have a very good understanding of the words or phrases that are used in each culture that is related to your fluent languages. This means understanding when, where and how to use words or phrases in each culture. It is your duty to inform your client when, where and how it is appropriate to communicate their message.
Keep up to date with your cultural skills by spending time in that culture if possible or study different materials related to your source languages.
It goes without saying that in 2021, computer skills are necessary for almost all jobs. Although your technology skills don’t need to be top notch, you need to have pretty good working knowledge of a computer. It’s okay if you don’t know all of the computer-aided translation (CAT) tools out there, as long as you are capable of learning new tools.
One computer skill that is extremely important is your keyboard skills. Being able to type quickly and accurately is a very valuable skill in the freelance translation world. Even though you are able to use speech to text software, it’s still important to have superb typing skills for editing.
Customer Service Skills
Hard skills are great for freelance translators, like the once described above, but soft skills are just as important. You need to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with your clients in order to be successful. This includes verbal and written communication, alongside all of your backend work like estimates and invoicing.
With high quality customer service skills your customers will want to return to you for all of their projects. The easier you make it for them the better it is for you.
Ready & Willing to Work
Last, but not least – you must be ready and willing to work. Before being hired you should ensure that your schedule is open enough to accommodate new projects in the very near future. This ensures that you are able to get started on your clients work as soon as possible and prevents you from being overwhelmed with too much work.
Of course, you also need to be willing to do the work. This means that you are always showing up in a professional manner, getting your work done on time, and communicating effectively with your clients.
As you grow through your translation career, make sure you constantly keep your skills up to date. If you are looking for work contact Language Marketplace today.