How does a newbie full of passion begin her translation career?
Thread poster: Dina Chen

Dina Chen
Local time: 12:56
Chinese to English
+ ...
Jan 21, 2013

Hello everyone. This is my first post on Proz.com, and if I broke any rule, please notify me immediately.

I've spent the past few days browsing the website and reading many articles/blogs about translation and interpretation. I am really passionate about becoming a professional translator (or interpreter) who needs advices on how to start.

Let me introduce myself a bit: I am from Taiwan, so my mother tongue is Mandarin Chinese (and Taiwanese too) and I grew up reading a
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Hello everyone. This is my first post on Proz.com, and if I broke any rule, please notify me immediately.

I've spent the past few days browsing the website and reading many articles/blogs about translation and interpretation. I am really passionate about becoming a professional translator (or interpreter) who needs advices on how to start.

Let me introduce myself a bit: I am from Taiwan, so my mother tongue is Mandarin Chinese (and Taiwanese too) and I grew up reading and writing traditional Chinese. My family and I immigrated to Canada in 2006, and I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in English last spring. I speak English fluently since I've learned the language since 10 and my teachers were American. In Canada, one thing I am asked often is that: "were you born or did you grow here?" When I say no, the respond I get is "wow, you speak really good English!"

Anyways, I have established my profile on Proz and downloaded a CAT tool called OmegaT. For my major in the university, I would say that my field of specialization is literature and art. I also took many courses in geography and environmental studies as well as some general business courses as my electives.

I have no experience in translation, a TOTAL NEWBIE in this industry. Well, I keep a personal blog and I put my translation work there if I see something interesting. My work experience includes tourism and customer service, which means my bilingual language skills are often required. My questions is that how do I get my first client or first job? I actually sent a few resumes yesterday (because I saw some opportunities in the job section), hoping to get some replies.

Can anyone give me some advice? Or ask me anything if you can answer my question better. Since I was little, I've always known that my future career would be text or word-related, commerce or scientific stuff isn't for me! (Or i wish, so I can be a doctor, the career that every Asian parent wants their children to have).
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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:56
German to English
+ ...
Easiest way to get information Jan 21, 2013

Go to the line above your title, where it says:

Translation - art & business > Getting established <

Clicking on the "Getting established" link will get you to a long, long list of forum discussions on exactly that topic.

It is pretty likely you will find the answers to any questions you have there.

Good luck.


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:56
Member (2008)
English to French
Get a degree in Translation Jan 22, 2013

If you read posts about starting out, you'll notice people mostly talk about it taking 6 to 18 months before they are profitable and able to live off of their work.

Meanwhile, you might as well go back to University and get a degree in translation - it'll mean that you can only work part time for the next 1 to 3 years depending on its length but it'll be worth it for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years that you'll be working.

Since you're in Vancouver, UBC's school of contin
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If you read posts about starting out, you'll notice people mostly talk about it taking 6 to 18 months before they are profitable and able to live off of their work.

Meanwhile, you might as well go back to University and get a degree in translation - it'll mean that you can only work part time for the next 1 to 3 years depending on its length but it'll be worth it for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years that you'll be working.

Since you're in Vancouver, UBC's school of continuing education has a good option if you don't want to do a 3-year degree : http://cstudies.ubc.ca/languages/mandarin-translation-and-interpretation.html

During that time, you can start building your business - I found that at the earliest stages of my career, word of mouth and local businesses were my best bet to get some experience.
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How does a newbie full of passion begin her translation career?

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