Good evening. I hope I am posting in the correct area of the work topic, apologies if I am not. Does anyone on here work as a translator? What qualifications are required please? I would be grateful for further information. Many thanks.
Hi Arinjo. I work as a translator, Chinese-English. You don't actually require quals, but they help, because as with any freelance gig, the challenge is marketing yourself and finding work, and chasing payment, and keeping it rolling in. Doing the DipTrans or an MA can help you get steadier, better-paid work with a good agency, or in house. Check out www.proz.com and Translator's Cafe, also the Chartered Institution of Linguists (www.ciol.org.uk) and www.iti.org.uk/. They all have plenty of info to get you started. It takes a while to build up to a point where you're earning a living, so you have to really push to make that happen. Tip: I found CIOL membership got me more offers of work once I was listed on their linguists database. Also, if you have other training in other fields (eg medical, legal, science or tech), maybe think about specialising - it pays better.
You need to do a lot of research first. Not all agencies will take people without an MA or a DipTrans (those who require these quals are usually the better ones to work for), and some are time-wasters offering very low rates or worse (eg, they ask for a long 'test' translation and then use it but don't pay). But I would say your medical quals will be extremely useful in this field whether you go for face-to-face interpreting or written translation. Eg, there are exams you can take to act as an interpreter in medical situations, for example DPSI - run by CIOL. Or you could end up translating pharmaceutical/medical equipment information back into your language. There are a lot of possibilites but you need to check out the links I sent you and do a lot of reading about the industry before you make your first move. Most of the info you need is available online, so it's not too difficult. Lots of people share their experience in forums on Proz and Translator's Cafe.