Anyone can become a translator at any age. Starting a translation career at an early age has many benefits.
A couple of days ago, I received a question from Jack regarding this exact topic. He wanted to know if there were any benefits of starting a translation career earlier on in life.
Question from Jack
“I’m seventeen years old and lived in Spain for eight years. I have taken a GCSE (General Certificate in Secondary Education) in Spanish and got an A grade when I was thirteen. I am currently working full-time and wish to move on to translating. How would I go about getting a job translating at my age?”
First off, congratulations to you, Jack, on your accomplishments at such a young age. Few people seem to have a knack for languages at a young age, and that’s great that you want to take advantage of your talent and skill and become a translator.
Let me just say that in translating, age doesn’t make as much a difference as you might think it does in making a career. Because most translators deal strictly online and over the phone, there is no way for a client to determine how old a translator is when awarding them a job.
In all the job offers I’ve received over the years, nobody ever asked me how old I was. Why should they care as long as I get the job done professionally for them? Your age does not matter as long as you can be professional in your work and in dealing with (potential) customers.
Most freelance translator applications will not ask your age or date of birth, but they will ask you to outline your educational and/or work experience. If you can show that you have experience, even if it is volunteer translation/interpretation experience you have, it won’t matter if you were born in 1955 or 1995. If you have what they want, they will hire you.
9 Reasons to Start a Translation Career at an Early Age
So, getting back to Jack’s question, are there any benefits of starting a translation career earlier on in life? Here are nine reasons that come to mind:
You Can Gain Valuable Experience While Still in School
One of the great things about starting a translation career while you are still in school is that you can gain valuable experience. Volunteer to do some translation work for your school or a local non-profit organization. This will give you some experience to put on your resume and will also help you decide if the translation industry is really the career for you.
You’ll Have More Flexibility in Your Schedule
Starting a translation career at an early age can give you more flexibility in your schedule. When you are just starting out, you can afford to be more flexible with your time and take on projects that may not be as lucrative as those offered to more experienced translators.
This flexibility can allow you to gain experience working with different types of clients and on a variety of projects. As you build up your portfolio, you can start to focus on the types of translation work that you enjoy the most and are most passionate about.
You’ll Have More Energy
A Translation career is one of the most challenging yet rewarding careers. It helps you learn a new language and allows you to interact with different cultures. The earlier you start your translation career, the more energy you’ll have. Here are four reasons why:
- You’ll be able to take on more responsibility.
- You’ll be able to learn new languages more quickly.
- You’ll be able to build a strong network.
- You’ll be able to manage your time better.
All of these reasons will give you a head start in your translation career and help you be successful. So if you’re considering a career in translation, don’t wait!
You Can Start Building a Portfolio of Work
When you’re just starting out as a translator, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door. One of the best ways to make a name for yourself and get started in your career is to build a portfolio of work.
When you’re just starting out, you can afford to take on lower-paying projects or even do some pro bono work to build up your portfolio. You can also start out as a part-time translator before going full-time. As you gain experience and complete more projects, you can start to focus on the types of projects that you’re most interested in and that will pay you the most.
You’ll Be Able to Learn New Skills Quickly
When you’re just starting out in your career, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new skills quickly. As you take on more responsibility, you’ll be able to learn new skills and knowledge that will be valuable in your career. You can also take advantage of online resources and courses to learn more about the translation industry and how to be a successful translator.
You’ll Have More Time to Network
If you start your translation career at an early age, you’ll have more time to network. Networking is essential for any career, but it’s especially important in the translation industry.
When you network, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other translators, learn about new technologies and tools, and find out about new job opportunities. The more connections you make, the better your chances will be of finding a job that you love.
You’ll Be Able to Find a Mentor
If you start your career at an early age, you’ll be able to find a mentor. A mentor is someone who can help you learn about the translation industry and give you advice on your career. Having a mentor is a great way to get started in your career and learn from someone successful in the industry.
You’ll Have More Time to Learn About the Industry
When you start your career at an early age, you’ll have more time to learn about the translation industry. You can read books, articles, and blogs about the industry, and you can attend conferences and webinars. The more you know about the industry, the better prepared you’ll be to succeed in your career.
You Can Get a Head Start on Your Career
If you start your translation career at an early age, you’ll be able to get a head start on your career. You can start building your portfolio, networking, and learning new skills. You’ll also have more time to learn about the industry and find a mentor. So if you’re considering a career in translation, don’t wait! The sooner you start, the better your chances will be of success.
How to Get Started Translating at a Young Age
If you’re interested in starting a career in translation, there are a few things you can do to get started. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a successful career in translation.
Start By Learning a Second Language
If you’re interested in translating, you must be bilingual or multilingual. The best way to become bilingual is to start learning a second language at a young age. There are many ways to learn a second language, but the best way is to immerse yourself in the language. You can do this by living in a country where the language is spoken, or by taking classes and speaking with native speakers.
Start Building Your Portfolio
As a translator, your portfolio is your most important asset. To get started, you can create a free website or blog where you can showcase your work. You can also join online communities and forums, and participate in translation contests. These are all great ways to get started building your portfolio.
Network With Other Translators
Networking is essential for any career, but it’s especially important in the translation industry. When you network, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other translators, learn about new technologies and tools, and find out about new job opportunities. The more connections you make, the better your chances will be of finding a job that you love.
So if you’re considering a career in translation, don’t wait! The sooner you start, the better your chances will be of success. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a successful career in translation.
FAQ – Starting a Translation Career at an Early Age
Does age really matter when it comes to starting a translation career?
No – if you’re passionate about translating and have the skillset, you can start at any age.
Will I have an advantage if I start at a young age?
There are definitely advantages to starting your translation career at a young age. That’s because with age, you have more time to start, make mistakes, and learn from them. You also have more time to build a strong reputation and networks.
Do translators need a specific degree?
There is no one specific degree that you need to become a translator. However, studying languages, linguistics, and translation can be helpful.