Today, people around the world share all types of information and in a variety of different media. However, it is not always in a language that is fully understood. You may access information on a website which really needs a NAATI certified professional translators before a full understanding of the content is possible. For example, you may see an interesting image which is reviewed in a language you don’t fully understand. Or you may have bought a product while overseas and its manual is written in a language you are not familiar with. Whatever the document is about and whatever language it is in, there are various tools available which can enable you to carry out a useful document translation so that you understand at least the gist of it.
Apart from hiring a NAATI professional translation service to unravel the meaning there are some free web tools available for you to use. So far, Google Translate has been proven to be the most useful tool. The reason for this is that without too much of a problem a complete web page can be translated without the need to copy and paste it into another context. It also supports a surprising number of languages and the tool is constantly improving the quality of its translations
WorldLingo is a great translator that can be found online and is nearly as good as Google translate but does not offer as many languages. It is grammar is not nearly as good as a professional translation but it does offer a reasonable idea of what a text is all about. SDL FreeTranslation offers a bit more than other translation tools as if you are prepared to pay it can organise a professional document translation. With just a single click, an estimate can often be provided of the cost of a human professional document translation.
You may not have discovered this translation tool as it hidden behind the review tab in Microsoft Office. You can select a language and get the gist of a document to keep you going until you are able to find a professional NAATI translator.
Most of the online tools for undertaking translations are perfect to get an idea about the meaning of words and phrases but they don’t have the capacity to perform in depth translations especially when it comes to getting the translation just right.
It is quite surprising how many people really believe that fluency in a language is the main prerequisite for being a professional translator. Bilingualism is no doubt a great asset but there is more to a career as a professional translator than bilingualism.
1 Get a Translation Certificate
Getting certified proves that you have reached the required standard to be a translator. There are many universities who offer both degrees and programmes for certification as a qualified translator. The best certification in Australia is NAATI accreditation because it offers the accredited translator the opportunity to work on government translation projects.
2 Take a Language Test
You may be surprised to know that proving your competency in your second language is both important to clients seeking translation services and companies seeking competent translators. There are many tests available that can test your ability in your second language and will add weight to your resume.
3 Build Up Experience
Gaining experience is next on the agenda. Everyone has to start somewhere. To be a good NAATI translator the more hands on experience you get the better. If you are currently a student, offer your services as a translator in your language pair, even if you don’t ask for too much pay in the first place. You can use your translated examples to add to your portfolio which you can present as evidence of your competence to any potential clients.
4 Market Your Skills
Once you have accumulated experience you are now ready to fast track these new skills by marketing yourself to those organisations that commonly seek translators in the course of their daily work. This includes hospitals, police stations, government organisations and translation providers. The best place to showcase your translation achievements is through your own website where you can add work samples, testimonials from satisfied clients and your translation rates.
5 Learning Never Stops
You may have started your professional translation services career translating any document that comes along and someone is prepared to pay for translating it. There is a time when you may feel you are not getting just compensation for your efforts. You can now start to specialize by concentrating on the more lucrative translation areas such as legal or medical translations. You can also spend some time updating your knowledge on such tools as translation memory software. There is some more learning involved, especially in relation to glossaries and terminology.