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  • Writer's pictureKaren Pérez Herrera

I JUST GRADUATED AS A TRANSLATOR. WHAT'S NEXT? (PART TWO)

Continuation of the first part...



Participate actively in the professional community


This includes, of course, creating profiles on various translation directories or professional portals where you can network with other professionals, offer your services, and find job opportunities. Some of these platforms include: Proz, Translators Café, LinkedIn, Translation Directory, among others.



Participate in translation forums, Facebook groups, or any other platform that allows communication among professionals. In these spaces, you can share interesting information, take part in debates, translation forums, and offer and receive assistance (for example, with terminology).


It's important not to view your fellow translators as competitors all the time, but as valuable contacts with whom to exchange ideas and advice, individuals to turn to if you need help with a large assignment or when you need some tips for greater success in the profession. It's crucial to emphasize the importance of always being respectful to other professionals, maintaining healthy, civilized relationships, being kind, and professional.


Continue practicing and honing your skills



The university has ended, yes, but that wasn't the only instance where you'll translate just for practice. Don't assume that becoming a professional instantly makes you a perfect translator. Even without paid assignments, keep translating to maintain and enhance your abilities. Use the time without stable work to keep practicing. Remember, just as a language deteriorates without regular use, so too does your translation proficiency if left idle.


Translate for fun. Now is your chance to translate not only those texts that perhaps weren't to your liking when you were still in university. You can now translate what you enjoy: stories, short films, songs, poems (be careful there), and endless possibilities. In my case, as I also mentioned on my Facebook, I love subtitling as a hobby, so I created a YouTube channel exclusively for that.


Offer yourself as a volunteer translator. There are several social organizations such as NGOs that need the collaboration of translators to improve and strengthen communication between different countries. In this post (in Spanish) by TransAndLoc, they provide a list of some NGOs that require this voluntary service. Take advantage of this opportunity to practice and make yourself known.



Babelcube is another platform that allows you to offer yourself as a translator and choose the books you want to work on. While there's the promise of potential earnings, it depends on your translation's sales volume, for which you would receive a percentage. However, this isn't something that will happen with certainty, nor will the earnings be substantial. So, approach it with the mindset that it's a very useful practice for you. Additionally, you'll become known among the followers of the author you choose, as your name will be listed in the first pages of the work (so, do it well, as your translation will also receive reviews!).


TED Talks is a type of NGO that offers videos of experts in various fields giving talks on a wide range of interesting topics, sharing a plethora of intriguing, controversial, innovative, curious, etc., ideas. These TED Talks also have a voluntary translation system, where they also require transcription and subtitling services for the videos, as well as the review of translations made by other volunteer translators. Click here for more information.


Escribe, lee



Another piece of advice related to this topic: write and read. Our profession requires the best readers and writers. We must understand a text in its entirety, have the ability to research to deepen our knowledge of said text, among other skills that are closely connected with reading. On the other hand, writing is about the ability to express ideas, the skill to find the right words to convey the original idea into the target text (vocabulary acquisition is also closely linked to reading). These two strengthened skills will result in fluent, natural, and clear translations and writings, which is what is needed.

Conclusions



As you can see, there are many things to do once you've graduated. Don't panic about feeling adrift when you enter the professional world; there are plenty of options for continued learning and for starting to excel in the field. However, keep in mind that, like any freelance work, this requires a lot of patience and effort, and you need to be disciplined, proactive, and motivated. Many people may offer you endless advice, but in the end, it all depends on you—on what you truly want to achieve and what you're willing to put into it. I wish you great success on the path you choose, and happy translating!


Warm regards,

Karen

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