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What are some of the perks and downfalls of being a translator in the United States?

Hello! I am a high school senior, and I am planning on majoring in Spanish in college. My goal in life has always been to be a Spanish translator/interpreter. Unfortunately, I do not know anyone who is in this specific career; therefore, I was wondering if anyone who is familiar with this career can inform me more about being a translator? #spanish #languages #interpreter #translator

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Stefani’s Answer

Hi Shariel, from your posting it seems like you always had a passion for Spanish which is already very important if you want to have a career as a translator OR interpreter. Please note that these are two different careers altogether, as a translator you would handle written translations and as an interpreter you would do simultaneous or consecutive interpretation, a skill that not everyone is able to master. There are several great programs for both in the US these days and many, many opportunities to study abroad.
Perks: As an established interpreter you may travel quite a bit, as a translator usually not so much. Both professions can be done as a freelancer (high flexibility but need to be a self-starter if you want to have a good income) or working for a company (specialized in technology, medicine etc.)
My suggestion for you is to get specialized in a field to stand out from the crowd of Spanish translators in the US. Stay on top of new translation technologies and tools and network early with other translators and translation associations.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! It means a lot! Shariel
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Rachel’s Answer

There are very few careers that would not be enhanced by your knowledge of a foreign language. Business, law, and medicine all make use of the Spanish language frequently. If you know this language, you will have an advantage and job opportunities that others in your field may not.

As far as downfalls...I am afraid that the interpreters in the medical field are not as well paid as many others working in the healthcare field. I would do a little research to figure out what your estimated salary would be and whether you would find this to be a livable income.
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