A few days ago, I came across yet another Facebook post written by an aspiring translator offering to work for free to gain experience.
I immediately replied to his post, saying that I was sick and tired of reading something like that. I wasn't angry with this young translator, but with the self-styled translators who commented on it, encouraging him to work for free.
That is why I made a shortlist with my 4 tips for those who want to start a career in the translation field:
1. Never underestimate your job. You are qualified for that, so don't accept poor rates just to "gain experience".
2. Read as much as you can. A good translator is, above all, an excellent reader. You can't be a translator if you read the last book in middle school.
3. Be curious. None of us is a know-it-all, but we usually face a wide range of topics.
4. Be ruthless. You will need to read your translation as if someone else wrote it, and you'll often ruthlessly edit it.