Translator Training: How to Constantly Improve Your Skills

Translator Training: How to Constantly Improve Your Skills

If you are looking to become a successful translator you will need to do at least some form of training or learning. This can come under formal training either academically or with various courses. Of course, up to a certain degree, you can learn all you need to know by yourself.

Some specialized jobs might require you to have a certification, but at the beginning, you are well able to start while learning on your own. To make your journey easier, here are the best tips for translator training:

Start taking jobs

Even if you are looking to specialize in corporate or public translation, you might benefit from taking jobs as soon as possible. This means you have the opportunity to earn some money while you gain valuable work experience. Even more, this will give you the much-needed opportunity to exercise your chosen languages.

You can start with The good news is that the more you make the more you can invest in yourself to perfect your skills with courses or other types of training.

Take an online course

Online courses seem more available than ever before. If you plan to go into certain areas of corporate translation your credentials might help you open certain doors. You may also benefit from networking with people in your area.

But even if you don’t get the opportunity to use the credentials of a certain course, you may still benefit from improving your translation skills. This type of continuous learning can have a positive impact on how you perform in the future.

Find free resources

Apart from online courses, which can be paid or free, you may also benefit from looking for alternative learning sources. You can easily find books, magazine or even specialized blogs in your area of expertise.

This means you get the chance of learning more from free sources. While there are downsides to free sources, like the motivational factor compared to paid alternative, you will not spend any money to improve your skills.

But free resources can also be available in the offline world where you can meet people in your area of interest.


Reading in your chosen languages is a must. From a certain level, it has to be done daily. If you`re looking for the next job on you might want to stay up to date with the latest terms in your field.

Reading newspapers, blogs or even watching TV in your chosen languages is a must for complete skill mastery. This is why so many good translators recommend constant reading in your preferred languages.

You may even diversify the types of text you consume. Classic literature will be considerably different in style from an online newspaper. This means you also have to diversify your reading materials as much as possible.


Since you can’t really excel in all areas of translation, it might be a good idea to start thinking of specializing in a specific niche. You can check the available online opportunities on

When you plan to make it to the next level, you will have to learn the specifics in an organized manner. You cannot postpone learning and should have a plan to reach your desired specialized field.

A good choice for self-taught translators comes with a schedule of a few months in which you solely focus on improving your skills in a specialized area.

Get certified

Getting certified will bring you the recognition to open certain doors. If you plan to work with large companies or state bodies, you will need a certification.

Even if you have a good portfolio, having a certification is still mandatory in some situations. It means that you need to be prepared and get the right certifications as soon as possible.

A good way to keep costs under control in this situation is to see which certifications can be achieved online. If you get to test your skills online you may also save money on transport or other requirements.

Choose a university degree

A specialized university degree may still be the right option for some translators. There is nothing that can compare to an academic environment with like-minded people where you typically focus for 3 years on mastering your skills.

Apart from learning and perfecting your languages, a university is also a good opportunity to network and develop the socials skills needed for a translator. You also get the opportunity to share knowledge with other students or teachers which are hardly achievable in any other environment.

Market yourself

Marketing yourself is one of the skills not many new translators master. If you are going on your own without a platform like Real Translator, you will learn this the hard way.

But even with a support platform, you still need to know how to tell the employers you have the skills they are looking for. So while you might believe that mastering the languages is enough, this is not the case anymore.

Since the competition can be one of your real-world problems, you need to learn how to showcase your skills. This comes as a combination of portfolio work and the ability to communicate.

Even the best products need a good story and this is why you will have to learn how to market your skills.

Keep learning

As a translator, you always need to have your eyes open for the next opportunity. While you might have to go to great lengths to reach it, you may also find opportunities to improve yourself.

Make sure you connect with people on groups in your area where you might have the chance to practice your language. Maybe you can choose online forums or other platforms; the important thing to remember is that you need to keep learning as language mastery is a form of art.

Make sure you get the most out of each opportunity and plan at least a few hours each week to find new opportunities to work on your skills.

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