WHAT A WAY TO EARN A LIVING!!
Using your language skills sure is a great way to earn a living and whether it’s interpreting, translating or any of the denominations of these disciplines, there’s a large market waiting for your services.
When a person starts on their journey to providing their services professionally, they will encounter the need for a qualification. For those entering into the provision of interpreting services, that may be a Level 3 Community Interpreting Certificate, a Level 6 Community Interpreting (Legal Pathway) or a DPSI. For translators, possibly the Level 7 Diploma in Translation studies and a Machine Translation Post Editing qualification.
Investing in qualifications is an investment in yourself and the tendency is to start to recuperate a return on that investment by aiming to attain as much work as possible as an interpreter or translator. At the start of your journey, you’ll more than likely register with several agencies and your workload over the coming months and should increase to a stage where you can make a living.
TRANSLATOR v INTERPRETER TRAITS
In our experience, there is a key difference in ‘trait’ between an interpreter and a translator. Interpreters are conducting their services verbally, with and in front of people wither face to face or via video. Interpreters do what they do because they like helping people. On the other hand, the job of a translator can be solitary, with only a laptop, desk and mug of some hot drink for company. Both parties like their environment for their own reasons. Both parties will have good and ‘ok’ months when it comes to income. But are both parties missing a trick when it comes to generating income?
When it boils down to it, you are doing what you do to receive money in return for your services. Would you like to receive more income for your services? If so, have you really considered expanding your offering and engaging in other business service types that use your skills? For interpreters that may mean pulling away from the comfort of the telephone and doing more face to face work. For those with a legal, medical or marketing background degree or Masters, have you thought of getting involved in translating in those fields? On the other hand, translators may want to think about getting away from their laptop and into their local NHS trust to help a fellow countryman understand the nature of an illness they are experiencing.
THE RISE OF THE MACHINE
Speaking of translating, machines are getting more and more sophisticated and generating higher quality of output year on year. This means that the role of translator is more and more that of a ‘post editor’ of text. Post editing is a skill-set that will be required more and more as time goes on. Maybe now is the time to invest in this skill-set?
One thing is for sure, language services are here to stay. The only question going forwards is, what format they will be required in. Linguists must always consider where the market is going and where the money will come from to maximise their income. DO you need to think about the future? Or do you need to think about the here and now? Being able to offer multiple services can fill income gaps when there are some. Thinking now about what your role would look like in 5 years time may cause you to think wisely about what skills you need to compete in this ever-progressing sector. Whatever you are thinking, maximisation of income will always be something high on your agenda.
Thinking about qualifications? Call ISL today on 0203 4575 7771 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your career today.