What do you need to become a Translator?

How do you become a Translator?

There are a number of different ways someone can begin their career as a professional translator. If you’re already equipped with the skills required, perfect. However, it is possible to find highly skilled individuals with entirely different qualifications, previous working experiences and personal interests.

If you really want to excel in the field of professional translation there are several characteristics that all the pros have in common. These will include good time management; the ability to effectively manage your time and work flexibly is crucial for success in the field. 110% commitment is important for an aspiring translator as having a willingness to throw yourself into a project will put you a step ahead of the rest. Finally, and most importantly, a professional translator should have a love and passion for their chosen languages, this will make the experience more effective for clients.

Many different types of businesses from various professions are looking for translators. It’s safe to say that today’s translation and interpreting sector is thriving, with skilled modern language professionals being in high demand. This has given people from all over the world an easier opportunity to find work as translators, whether they want to pursue it as a career or simply earn a little extra bit of cash on the side.

What type of education do I need to become a translator?

If you wish to become a translator today then you’ll find that specific qualifications and certifications are not always required. Education is very important when becoming a translator but, with most jobs, if you want to be an appealing candidate then you should enhance your CV with the most valuable asset, experience; building your CV up with voluntary work or internships will put you a step ahead of the rest when applying for translator jobs. Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of experience or the proper education then you could go unnoticed when applying for a job, as translation is very competitive market so the more you can do to make yourself stand out, the better.

There are some very unique situations where you can manage without a formal education, these could include such scenarios as; being truly bilingual, an extremely competent writer and only translate general subjects. This is a very rare situation but it can happen. The majority of the time most translators will have some sort of background in translation studies.

What are the most vital skills and qualities a translator should have?


Most important for a translation job is language. In order to be successful in this field you need to be fluent, both speaking and writing, in the language you’re translating from, as well as the language you’re translating into. If you wish to accelerate the rate in which you’re learning the language then a proven way to do this is by spending time or living in the particular country whose language you wish to learn.

Computer Skills

The ability to navigate through various programs is vital as it often leads to increased competence and higher employability. You will need to familiarise yourself with various software and CAT tools, which are Computer Assisted Translation tools that assist the translation process making it faster and more precise.

Business Skills

If you have a solid understanding of sales and marketing techniques, as well as being able to advance your professional qualities such as organisation, punctuality and persistence, you should be able to build a positive and prosperous career in the translation field.