Suggestions on how to get started in the translation industry

Someone he wants to leave engineering and enroll translation filled?
And, how long time will be take until a professional?

Hi, @MohamedSabry!

I give you my total support, but we need to clarify some things first. Do you have an excellent knowledge about your native language? Do you know how to use CAT tools, especially Trados? And most important: do you have a financial reserve for at least one year?

A successful career change takes time. Remember to let your boss know that you will plan to leave in a specific date. Finish all your projects before.

You know the style of engineering materials so that is one less step. :wink:

I suppose you will work from English into Arabic, right? If so, click on this link to see what expects you in translation. Unfortunately, the majority of source texts aren’t well written.

That’s the million-dollar question. It depends entirely upon you. There are many definitions of what is a truly professional. I consider a professional translator someone who can deliver at least 2,500 new words/day; respond emails within 24 hours; and the two more important characteristics: a nice person and someone who continues to study.

For measurable quantities—and that’s my opinion—you are “prepared” when you have read 120,000 words about a specific textual genre and translated 60,000 words in the same genre. Of course, you need to know the common mistakes that translators make with this kind of text. For example, if you translated 60,000 words of an equipment manual, you can translate a similar manual. That’s why it’s important to have hundreds of thousands of translation memory segments—relax, you will achieve that with time.

Some things that will happen to you:

  1. You will receive a lot of no’s. This is normal.

  2. You will pass some tests and fail others, even if they were quite similar.

  3. You will feel exhausted. Take some rests or you will become the grumpy translator who complains about low rates and doesn’t focus on improving the quality of their job and searching for good agencies.

I recommend these articles:

Can You Be a Translator Without a Degree?

How to Become a Translator: 7 Steps to Your Dream Job

But don’t worry. Engineering is a field which “always” has a good demand.

Remember to network and contact a former engineer who became a translator to talk about the career change. Don’t forget: search for nice persons.

Take it easy and plan ahead! :writing_hand: