What Is A Translator: Get To Know More About It

Do you know someone who is fluent in two languages? He might be the perfect candidate to become a translator. What is a translator? A translator is someone who can change a written text from another language into his native language.

A translator is able to write well and clearly understand a target language. Translating is usually done in one direction – that is translating only from a second language into the translator’s native language.

Qualities of a translator

The qualities of a translator include being fluent in two languages. He/she has the ability to understand the source language and the culture of the place where the text originates. It is important to possess linguistic skills, but it is more important for the translator to be able to write and comprehend well in the target language.

Another quality is being bilingual. Although being bilingual is not enough to be a translator, it can be a jumpstart. Many excellent translators are not fully bilingual but it is not seen as hindrance; many of them only translate documents into their native language and their subject matter expertise.

Another set of qualities of a translator is the willingness to get certifications and pass proficiency tests. Being bilingual and fluent is not enough to fit the definition of what a translator is. A good translator is being able to get certifications and tests to prove or guarantee his qualifications.

How to be a good translator

With all the perks and fun that a job as a translator brings, you might already consider translating as a career. How can you be a good translator? Well, you need to have something that you will show to your potential clients that proves that you are qualified and equipped with skills to be a good translator. What are the things that you should have?


As stated earlier, being bilingual and fluent is not enough. While translators typically need a bachelor’s degree, being fluent and getting certifications will qualify you as a translator. Potential clients look at the translator’s background and when they see certifications, they will immediately trust that the translator has the skills to do the job. Some organizations that offer certifications list names of the certified translators and this is where potential clients can find you.

Some organizations that you can consider for your certification include the American Translators Association for general certification programs and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators for translating judiciary documents. Inquire in your area or state if there are any accreditation programs for translators.


Although you can get online translation jobs even when you are just starting out, a good translator should have experience to do the job. You can get experience from internships. Internships, whether paid or unpaid, are a solid foundation to your translating career. You can even get absorbed by the institution at the end of internship.


Whether you are working in an office setting or in your bed while wearing pajamas, you need to have a good network. Your network will help you find potential clients and land the jobs you want. You can build a network by applying as intern, signing up in forums, or attending seminars or workshops in translating and other related areas.

How to land a translation job

The internet has made almost everything possible. While translating breaks the language barrier, the internet shortens the distance between people. It is easy to get translation jobs anywhere in the world through the internet.

Being equipped with certifications, tests, experience, and other qualifications, you can now start looking for translation jobs. If you choose to be an online freelance translator, you have the freedom to work anywhere and anytime. Today, there are many websites that offer translation job postings which connect translators and clients.

Translation 101

Not all job posting websites are trustworthy. It is important to know a website before you sign up and accept a job. One of the newest and best resources for learning about being a translator is Translation 101. Thousands of translators have learned what to look out for when it comes to becoming a translator – and what types of job posting websites to frequent – from reading the Translation 101 guide, which is easy to understand and holds some of the best information on translation as a career.

Working as a translator can see you getting paid as much as $100 for translating text documents, $35 for translating emails, and much more. Clients you find through legitimate sites will see you paid through payment channels such as bank transfers, Western Union, PayPal, and more. Finding the right place to play your trade as a translator is a great way to jumpstart your online freelance translation career.

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