Is it necessary for a translator to be specialized? It really depends on the type of translation work you already do. If you are a Swahili to English Translator, you probably don’t have to worry about specializing because your language skills are already so niched. But if you are Spanish to English or another common language combination, you would probably want an extra something to add more value to your resume.
So how does one begin to decide which field to specialize in? There are many steps that could be taken. First of all, let’s start with what you already know:
- You should consider fields you have worked in before. Have you previously worked as a paralegal? Or even as a medical receptionist? You could possibly work as a legal or medical translator.
- Maybe your degree is not in linguistics, but it’s in tourism and hospitality; perhaps you could translate texts related to that field.
- You should even consider hobbies or the things you do for fun. Find something you already love doing. Did you always have an extensive interest in sports? You could become a sports translator!
It is very important to choose a field that holds your interest. So, how can you become an expert on a specific field?
- The first thing you should do is sign up for courses in the field. You can attend lectures, presentations, or even register for a course. If possible, you should take the course in both your source and target languages to become even more comfortable with the vocabulary in both languages.
- Read everything you can about your subject in all languages necessary. You can acquire important knowledge on the subject and build your own glossary of the terminology related to that field.
- Absorb all information that is affiliated to the field in the source and target languages. You must fully immerse yourself in a subject to become an expert.
- Subscribe to a journal in your trade. You can keep up to date with new developments or technologies in a given discipline.
You can possibly even get a higher rate from agencies just by becoming an expert in a specific field. You will stand out from the crowd, and you can find jobs that fit perfectly with your skills. Your productivity can be increased because agencies will recognize your expertise.
Now, you understand both the importance of specialization and how to get specialized. Let us explain how to stand out as a specialized translator in our next blog.