Translators and Interpreters – What Can They Do To Become More Successful? Part 4
By: Rabia Tanveer
It is sad I know, but the end is here. We had some fun, shared some laughs, but like every good thing, this great series had to come to an end. So far we have covered a wide range of tips and advises that you will not find anywhere else. There are a lot of things that you can do to enhance your craft and become a good translator. After reading the previous installments of the series, you might have already learnt that being a great translator is not that easy. There is some serious hard work before you can become a high-in-demand translator.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the final round of advising.
A translator earns his or her respect by providing the best possible quality of translation on time.
Remember that the client is paying you, so it is your job to be kind to him. Make him understand your point my being respectful, friendly and useful to him. Do not shy from giving him an idea that could make the project better, because he is paying you for your expertise. If you have a great idea, you can present that to him and see if he likes it or not.
If you are on an interpreting job, be calm and responsive. If you are corrected on any point, keep your cool and move on. It is very important for you to have a circle of professional people who are good for you. Having positive thinking people in your circle will be a great change for you. They will keep you upbeat and you will have a way to forget everything that is wrong in your life and concentrate on what is good.
Remember that translation is your craft, so always try to improve yourself. Sharpen your craft by attending seminars, conferences, webinars and workshops.
Never be hesitant to volunteer some free work. I am not telling you to start handing out free translation services, I am just telling you to help out your friends. If your friend is an in a pinch, step up and help them out because only then you can expect your friends to help you out.
Also, you need to take care of your eyes. Use the 20/20 method to rest your eyes. If you have been working straight for 20 minutes, take a break by looking at something that is away from your computer screen for 20 seconds. This will rest your eye and keep the strain to the minimum.
Never be afraid of providing something extra to your clients. Try to impress your client, use good vocabulary, use good sentence structure and try to be as honest to your work as you can. Send holiday greetings and cards to your clients. The purpose of this is to improve your relationship with your client. You need to show your respect and maintain a friendly relationship with the client.
Back up your files and keep them organized. Do not dump every project in the same folder. Organize them according to the clients and try to keep a record of when you did what project for the client.
Try to keep a list of client preferences. This will allow you to always bring the best work. If you know what the client wants and what he expects, you will have a better time of providing a result that the client is pleased with. Also, try to put some money away for your retirement plan. It would be nice to have a little cushion to help you out when you are old and gray.
Because you spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer, exercise daily. Keep track of your physical activities and take care of your body and health. If you want to experiment with other styles of translations or industries, make some samples on your own. Do not take up a client immediately. Practice, a lot, get criticism and then take up a client.
Also, you must remember to discard confidential material. Because this is sensitive information, use a shredder to get rid of all that before you move on to the next project. Remember that in this line of work, networking is very important. This is what will bring you more clients and more work, so do not be afraid of spreading your wings and going out to network at least once a month.
I saved the best advice for last. Be as humble as you can. No one is perfect, especially the people who work in the language industry and provide some kind of translation service. There is always room to groom your craft, learn something new and improve your style. You can always learn new things from people, so take a piece of this humble pie and stay grounded.
Keep these little advises in your mind because they are very important for a translator or an interpreter. Our jobs are hard, these little things will help you along the way and keep you rooted. You will not feel like floundering.