Salary range £18,000 – £40,000 depending on experience/responsibility.
- languages – courses which specialise in linguistics or translation may give you an advantage but are not essential
- combined degrees which include a subject like law or science with languages
An MA or MSc in translation or translation studies, or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) Diploma in Translation, could increase your chances of employment, especially with international organisations.
If you’re already fluent in a second language, you may find it useful to have qualifications in a subject which would allow you to take on specialised translating work.
If you have a degree, and can translate two EU official languages into English, you may be able to apply for a paid translation traineeship with the European Commission.
The Association of Translation Companies (ATC) has more information on how to become a translator.
2. Skills required
- the ability to to adapt to different styles and cultures
- a flair for research
- discretion and respect for confidentiality
- the ability to remain neutral and free of bias
- good IT skills, particularly word processing
3. What you’ll do
You could work on a number of subjects and projects, or specialise in a particular area, like:
- scientific, technical or commercial material
- legal documents
- literary work
- media work
- educational resources
- online content
Your day-to-day duties might include:
- reproducing the text clearly, accurately and in the style intended by the author
- using specialist knowledge, like technical terminology
- researching legal, technical or scientific terms and consulting with experts to make sure the translation is accurate
- matching the culture of the target audience
In some large companies you may revise and edit a rough machine translation, created using a computer program.
You may also use other software like translation memory, together with a dedicated computer assisted translation tool.