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Any translators around?

(5 Posts)
Zyxwvu Tue 16-Aug-16 19:49:09

Hi there, I'm considering a career change to become a translator (from French/Spanish to English). I'd appreciate any advice or insight anyone out there has.

I graduated 10 years ago with a good degree in languages, and have worked in the public sector ever since, gaining lots of experience in writing a huge variety of documents (in English). I've used my languages quite a lot but not really in a professional capacity.

Due to a change in circumstances, I'm considering doing an MA in translation and trying to set myself up as a translator working from home.

Does anyone have any views on the extent to which an MA is worthwhile? I am looking at those offered via distance learning from Birmingham, Bristol and Portsmouth, and it's quite hard to work out which is 'best'. I'm interested in a course that equips me with the skills and knowledge I need and also that will help me get work!

How easy or difficult is it to set oneself up as a freelance translator and earn a decent amount? I'd be so grateful for any views or experiences you could share!


OP’s posts: |
heron98 Wed 17-Aug-16 11:17:46

I am not a translator but work as a project manager in a translation company.

I would say that to get on the books of any reputable agency you will need a qualification (which is not just HOW to translate, but also how to use translation software) but also some proven experience.

I'm afraid your language combos aren't very unique so there's a lot of competition and as such the rates you can charge will also be lower.

Zyxwvu Wed 17-Aug-16 20:15:48

Hi, thanks for your reply. I'm well aware that it's an unoriginal combination so really want to make the right choice when getting a qualification. Would you say a Master's is the right qualification to get? Are any unis seen as particularly strong? Any suggestions on how I would start to get experience?

I would be looking to get a specialism, what areas are good to consider? I was thinking IT or similar.

OP’s posts: |
Gwenhwyfar Sat 08-Oct-16 08:59:39

Try posting your question on translators' forums such as Proz.

bottersnikes Fri 14-Oct-16 08:38:11


I am a professional translator who works from home, having moved from an office-based career after 13 years.
If you want to PM me, I'd be happy to offer you some suggestions. I'm still learning all the time, but I'll help if I can!

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