The Job of Translator


There are many benefits to becoming a translator. First of all, you’ll be working in a highly diverse field, which means that you’ll have a variety of work schedules. Translation and interpreting can be done on the job site or from home, and many freelancers work on-location and on their own schedules. These pros enjoy a wide variety of schedules and the opportunity to travel to foreign countries.

Career outlook for translators

While the career outlook for translators is largely positive, some areas may have less growth potential. For example, software localization can be challenging and requires specialized knowledge of programming languages and principles. While many translators are independent contractors, some employers require in-house talent and specialized training. However, even freelance translators can enjoy a high level of success. Successful translators have strong marketing skills, know how to negotiate reasonable fees, and successfully manage their time and meet deadlines. Another key skill to be successful in the translation industry is communication. Because translation involves constant contact and communication, translators often consult with colleagues on software, business practices, and terminology problems.

Skills needed

The skills needed to become a translator differ depending on the type of translation you do. Document translators must be fluent in at least two languages, and this includes their mother tongue. They must also have excellent writing skills. They must be able to compose their documents elegantly and with little to no mistakes. Proofreading their deliverables is also a vital skill. As a translator, your hard skills need to complement your soft skills.


The demand for translators is increasing as the world becomes more globalized. Translators must keep up with language and subject matter changes. They must also be familiar with the various industries and fields that their work impacts. With 450 employees in New York City alone, the U.N. is looking for translators with advanced language skills. These jobs come with high demands and strict deadlines. The pay for translators is on the rise, with upwards of six figures a year possible.

Language specialisations

As a freelance translator, it is vital to focus on a niche field as language specialisations can help you narrow your field and increase your earning potential. Specialisation can help you master specific skills, charge higher rates, and work with better quality clients. There are several popular translation fields, based on a survey of more than 400 professional translators worldwide. The most common fields of translation include automotive documents, operating instructions, and equipment manuals. Some of these fields require special skills and knowledge in fields like computer science or engineering.

Employment outlook

As globalization continues to grow, demand for translators and interpreters is expected to rise significantly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, translators and interpreters are expected to increase their employment by nearly twenty percent over the next eight years. Stronger ties between the United States and other nations, increased globalization, and an increase in the number of immigrants who speak languages other than English should all create a high demand for German translators and interpreters.

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