We translators have it easy. We’re not interpreters. I’m sure to offend plenty of people by this post, but it’s true. Interpreters have a much harder job than translators. Some people might say that they are both hard (or easy) and that it’s just a matter of perspective. Wrong. It’s no contest.
Growing up, I never worked at a fast-food restaurant. When I was a freshman in college, though, I worked the early morning shift at the student cafeteria. Every morning after work I would head to class and smell like breakfast that morning. Some days it was pancakes, some days sausage.
Becoming a successful, professional freelancer is hard work. It is not something that will come quickly and easily without any work on your end. However, myths abound about the skills you need to tackle the craft and business of translation.
Every fresh-faced freelancer has the same misconceptions about what it means to work for yourself. When I was in college at Brigham Young University, I was enrolled in the Spanish Translation program. It was great except for one thing:
OK, so you’ve just scored a translation job (and not one that pays pennies). The next decision you’ll make is whether or not to use a contract. There’s’ a short answer and a shorter answer. Shorter answer: Yes Short answer: Only if you want to get paid. Here’s why.
If there’s one thing about translation that bugs me to no end, it’s the fact that some translators are willing to sell their translation skills out to the lowest bidder possible. I get the mindset, though. You’re just starting out as a translator.