You’ve been a translator for quite a while now, and you may have noticed that some people in the industry are always the go-to of clients whenever they have a specific type of translation project. When you look their portfolios, you will see there that they have listed a specific type of specialization, sometimes even more than just one.
Specialization is focusing on one type of translation project. Translation specialization helps translators make their name in the translation industry as well as leave their mark for clients to look for them. The right specialization will also open the doors for better paying clients that can help you establish solid ground and stability in this competitive field. Still, as with everything, choosing a specialization should be carefully considered. Here are 5 facts about translation specialization that will help you through your process of choosing a specialization
1. In-Depth Knowledge Is Required
Sure you’ve been asked to do a specific type of translation (i.e. industrial, legal, IP, medical, etc) more than once. You’ve may even have done it for more than three times already. However, frequency of translating a specific project does not equate to specialization. You should spend some time undergoing new training for your chosen specialization. A degree for that field of translation is not necessary. It can come in handy, yes, but it is not the end of the world if you do not have one. A simple course of say IP translation will be enough to get you started.
2. The More You Do It, The Faster You will Be
Time and exposure help people hone their skills, and that goes also for professional translators. Don’t beat yourself up if you are slow at first in doing a specific type of translation. Your speed and accuracy will develop in time, and the more focused projects you get, the better you will become as a specialized translator.
3. Choosing is Mandatory
Choose your translation specialization wisely. There are specializations that may not have that much of a demand as the other. On the other hand, a “common” specialization will force you to price your services competitively as well as come up with creative ways to have you stand out of the crowd.
Also think forward when choosing your specialization. Will your specialization still be present in the future? How long do you need to complete your course? Do you have enough resources to cover you while as you complete your training? Careful planning and choosing will carry you farther than you might think.
4. There Should Not Only Be One
A translator once said that he wished someone told him as well as make him realize that a specialization is not forever. Times change, and the demands of clients also varies accordingly. Your specialization may be popular now, but will it continue to do so after several years? Adding another type of specialization will help you have a fall-back when your primary specialization goes down from the market.
5. Keep Updated
Constant education will be your ammunition for your specialization. The more you know about your specialization, the better you will be as a professional translator. Keep your resources, and discard ones that are already outdated. Always maintain your library of information in line with the current trends, and keep your nose on what’s going on with both the industry of translation as well as your specialization.
A specialization is not mandatory. There are translators who can go through their entire career without a specialization. However, it is something you certainly wish to think about as it is impossible for one to master every single thing in professional translation. Think of your specialization as something that will be your guide and your bestfriend in the industry. The more you get to know your translation, the better you will be as a professional.