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How would one go about finding their first job as a translator?

I plan on becoming a Japanese translator and while it seems easy to get started, in my mind it's too vague and I'd like an exact plan. #foreign-languages #language #japan #japanese

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Aiyanna-Jizelle,

Finding Your First Job as a Translator:

To begin your journey towards becoming a Japanese translator, there are several steps you can take to find your first job in the field. Here is an exact plan to help you kickstart your career:

Language Proficiency: Ensure that you have a high level of proficiency in both Japanese and your target language. Being near-native in Japanese is crucial for accurate translation work.

Formal Education: Consider pursuing formal education in translation or a related field. Completing a degree program or certification course in translation can provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Specialization: Identify areas of specialization within the field of translation. Specializing in specific industries such as legal, medical, technical, or literary translation can make you more marketable to potential employers.

Build a Portfolio: Start building a portfolio of your translation work. This can include samples of translations you have done, projects completed during your studies, or volunteer work.

Networking: Attend industry events, conferences, and workshops to network with other professionals in the field. Building connections can lead to job opportunities and valuable insights into the industry.

Online Platforms: Utilize online platforms such as freelance websites, translation job boards, and social media to search for job openings and freelance opportunities.

Internships or Volunteer Work: Consider taking on internships or volunteer positions to gain practical experience and enhance your skills. This can also help you build your reputation in the industry.

Certifications: Obtain relevant certifications such as ATA (American Translators Association) certification or certifications specific to Japanese translation to demonstrate your expertise and credibility to potential employers.

Continuous Learning: Stay updated on language trends, cultural nuances, and industry developments by engaging in continuous learning through courses, workshops, and professional development opportunities.

Persistence: Finding your first job as a translator may require persistence and patience. Keep applying to job openings, refining your skills, and seeking feedback to improve continuously.

By following these steps and staying dedicated to your goal of becoming a Japanese translator, you can increase your chances of finding your first job in the field.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Translators Association (ATA): The ATA is a leading organization for professional translators and interpreters, providing resources, certifications, and networking opportunities within the industry.
Industry Conferences and Workshops: Attending industry conferences and workshops can provide valuable insights into the field of translation, networking opportunities, and access to experts in the industry.
Translation Job Boards and Online Platforms: Utilizing reputable translation job boards and online platforms specific to the language pair you work with can help you find job opportunities and connect with potential clients or employers.

GOD BLESS!
James Constantine Frangos.
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David’s Answer

Hello, Aiyanna: First, we need to find out a bit about your background? Do you speak fluent Japanese already? Have you done any translation work? Are you interested in translation or interpretation, or both. My background does not include any formal translation training, although there are some very good college programs for that.

In addition, I would say that while Japanese interpretation and translation were very valuable skills when I was in college and during my career, nowadays they are less in demand, and languages, especially Chinese have a higher value. I have been involved with Japanese translation/interpretations for over 40 years.

However, one great opportunity that is coming up is the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Although the positions will be volunteer, I am sure that the US Olympic committee will probably be looking for skilled translators/interpreters to assist them when they visit Japan. Maybe you can give me some more of your background and we can continue to discuss.
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Nicole’s Answer

I agree with pretty much everything mentioned in the above comment. I would also like to mention that, for most of my high school and college career, I thought I wanted to go into straight translation and interpretation; however, after I got my first job, I realized that I found it to be so much more rewarding to be working in - in my case - technology and using my languages skills. With translation and interpretation, you can be thrown into something without any context and still have to get the best converted result possible, but if you actually work in a field where your language skills are an asset, you have the major advantage of knowing the field, the product, the process, etc. and being able to provide a confident answer instead of just performing conversions from one language to another without any context.
I would also like to point out that if you're looking for something stable and not freelance, you may want to favor a route more like mine since you will be hard-pressed to find a full-time, steady position as a translator/interpreter, especially for a language like Japanese.
Do you have something else that you're passionate about like computers, healthcare, engineering, marketing, etc.? If so, doing a dual-major may be your best option and it would also set you up nicely for a good job after graduating college.
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