Foreign Language skills open up a wide range of specialist career paths, including translator and interpreter, thanks to ever-growing job opportunities in India and abroad.
There are so many good reasons to learn a language. The demand for language experts has accelerated at an unprecedented spurt in India.
The ability to speak a foreign language increases your employment opportunities and enriches your working experience.
Gone are the days of relying on one’s native language in communicating with people, especially in business dealings.
The innovative advent of modern technology has made the world a global village. Now, the language barrier has to be broken more than ever.
Learning a foreign language can provide you a competitive edge in career choices.
Table of Contents
- Translator Vs. Interpreter – The key difference
- Career Scope as a Translator
- Job Opportunities as an Interpreter
- Careers for Proofreader, Editor, and Content Writer
- How to become a translator and interpreter?
- Salary, Paycheck, and Wages
Translator Vs. Interpreter – The key difference
Interpreting and translating are two DIFFERENT things in the complete sense.
Interpreters and translators convert information from one language (source) into another language (target). Although some people do both, interpreting and translating are different professions.
Interpreters work with spoken communication, whereas translators work with written information.
Translation has to do with the written words — that is, changing of written texts.
On the contrary, interpretation is concerned with the spoken words.
You have to know what someone is saying in his/her language. You have to tell in another language that is entirely different from the original speaker’s.
That is what is called interpretation, which is more complicated than translation.
Career Scope as a Translator
As a translator, you will convert the written text from one language into the target language by writing, analyzing, and editing.
With experience, learning, and specialization, skilled translators always find their services in high demand, and they earn pretty well.
Due to language complexity, machine translation can and will never replace human translators.
There are words with dual meanings in different languages. What works in one tongue does not necessarily work in another.
The Machine can’t relate words to context. The translation is something when quality matters more than anything.
Human translators and interpreters are much more reliable and effective, and the ‘personal’ aspect will always beat technology.
You can become a translator in 3-4 years. However, it will take several years for success and authority in various fields like financial, medical, technical, literary, and professional legal and certified translation.
Students more interested in literature can undertake translations of literary works from foreign languages.
There is also a growing market for converting self-help, science, research, and management books. There are also jobs in the publishing industry.
Many companies require translators for their business communication, live events, meetings, and conferences or documentation in their essential work.
Many translation service providers employ people having good knowledge of a foreign language.
The translator is one of the most sought-after career options in languages due to substantial monetary benefits, rising scope, and flexible working hours.
Job Opportunities as an Interpreter
As an interpreter, you’ll need to understand what is communicated and make precise and accurate verbal articulations and expressions.
Additionally, manners, gestures, and etiquette also play a vital role.
The job of an interpreter can be of varied types.
They are engaged in real-time interpretation, used for meetings, video-conferencing, speeches, teleconferencing, etc.
There is also liaison interpreting or consecutive interpreting. In this situation, a speaker coveys his or her messages and then stops for a while.
And then, the interpreter decodes the spoken speech to the audience in the corresponding language.
To become a successful interpreter, one needs to be fluent speakers or signers of both languages.
It is because they communicate back and forth among the people who do not share a common language.
Thanks to new technology like video-conferencing and teleconferencing, it is now possible to hold meetings and conferences between employees from India and their counterparts in other countries without actually having to travel between the two countries.
There are so many options for interpreters in India these days.
Thanks to the increasing entry of foreign firms and large-scale projects outsourcing to Indian companies by their European, Asian, and American counterparts.
Acting as an interpreter can be very lucrative, depending on how experienced you are.
You can also work for media houses, tourist centers, sports clubs, international firms, export houses, and so on.
The career prospect is just endless.
Careers for Proofreader, Editor, and Content Writer
Proofreading is the review of one language for accuracy, spelling, grammar & style. It makes sure that nothing is misspelled, omitted, or incorrectly inserted into your document.
Many companies use in-house or hire a proofreader to produce error-free texts.
There are also career opportunities for an editor.
They rewrite sentences and paragraphs with the intent to improve the flow, style, and overall quality of your writing.
The writer never goes out of style. Content writers have always been in demand from small companies to big MNC.
However, with the advent of the internet and technology, excellent writers’ need has increased manifold.
If you’re proficient in any language and a creative thinker that can write well, the job opportunities are immense.
How to become a translator and interpreter?
With your knowledge of a foreign language, you can work as a translator and interpreter for a company.
Besides, there is also a possibility in any agency or consultant or as an independent freelancer.
To do this successfully, you need three vital skills, which include.
A) Extreme high language ability
To be a successful professional translator or interpreter, you need near-native proficiency in both the language (source and the target tongue).
The job requires a high level of language competence in at least two tongues (native or CEFR level C1 and above or an equivalent level incomparable reference systems).
There are also some specialized courses for translators once you achieve a higher level of competence, for example, an MA in foreign languages.
B) Academic background or experience in the field
There is this incorrect assumption that a translator had to translate everything. But that isn’t the case.
Translators are particular, and you only need to concern yourself with one or a few areas of expertise (e.g., tourism, law, health, technology, and more).
There are no employers in on-the-job training. Thus, you will need to know how to translate or interpret before you can begin working.
Experience is also the prerequisite for most jobs.
Language reflects culture & customs and is influenced and shaped by it.
The professional language experts must also use the knowledge of the two cultures.
Translation and interpreting without deep cultural context will be flawed, inaccurate, and dangerous.
C) Possessing excellent writing and translating skill
You must also possess superior and a flare of writing, editing, vocabulary, and grammar skills in the target language.
The translator and interpreter need an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the language they are translating to avoid missing any implicit meanings inherent to the language.
There is no room for mediocrity, shoddiness, and insincerity.
It is important to note that translator skills are way different from beginner’s language skills.
Someone can be wonderfully fluent in a particular language but still become a useless and incompetent translator.
And if you are going to be an independent translator and interpreter.
You have to be skilled in marketing and general business practice since the freelance market is highly competitive.
Your contacts can be an added advantage!
Salary, Paycheck, and Wages
The working conditions and pay involving languages are excellent, which can rise significantly with experience and specialization.
Self-employed interpreters usually charge per hour or half-day or full-day rates.
If your language combination and specialty are in high demand, and people know about you, earning 2000 to 3000 per hour is not a stretch.
For a full-time translator, Salaries could range from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 1 lakh a month.
You can also work as a freelance language expert, and one can earn Rs. 2,000-5,000 a day in translation work.
Long Stretches of no employment as a freelance is also very common and one of the pitfalls and disadvantages as a freelancer.
The demand for foreign language jobs in India as a translator and interpreter is always high.
If you have the experience, referral, and a solid résumé in the in-demand languages. Or where competition is less like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, etc. Well, you will be paid much more than an average interpreter and translator.
Since German, French, and Spanish are the three widely spoken languages; thus, the demand for the famous European languages translator and interpreter is high.
There is also an enormous market potential for less taught languages, such as Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Bahasa, etc.
Choosing the right language to learn is of immense importance. Translator Jobs can be a regular full-time or part-time freelancer.
The 21st century has opened up a vast scope for people pursuing translator and interpreter as a career option.