Is Pursuing a Career in Translation Worth It?

Is there a future in a full-time translator career? Wouldn’t digitalization be a better alternative? How long will the translation industry last? These, among a couple of more questions, are among the major concerns both by practicing translators and aspiring professionals who are highly competent in what they do but are bombarded by the potential of having their industry entirely wiped out in the future.

With the rise of apps and software that automate some our manual tasks, it’s only a matter of time before one starts asking about the future of the industry they’re working for. And for translation agencies that do a lot of work online, the idea of automation seemed like an early premonition of a possible deterioration of demand for translators.

But can automation substitute real, professional translators?

Based on the current status quo, it can’t. Automation is employed to assist translators in their job. While it’s true that there are apps and software that could translate words verbatim, it’s a whole new, different thing when actual people take words into context and translate it into another language.

It’s basically why machines cannot fully take over the roles of human translators. Whereas devices operate on a predetermined program, professional translators could work on a team. While one translates, another one edits or proofreads.

Will the translation industry thrive?

Currently, there is a significant demand for companies such as the Japanese translation in the Philippines. This can be attributed to the number of foreign companies investing their businesses locally.

With more foreign investors expanding their ventures comes the need for professional translators who can breach the language barrier between countries and translate materials required by different entities for their business.

So yes, the translation service is seen to thrive in the years to come.

What does the industry demand?

Getting into the specifics of professional prerequisites can be tricky since different companies have their standard operating procedures. There are translation agencies that operate on higher standards and cover diverse languages, thus, requiring greater expertise from translators.

However, if you wish to jump-start and nurture your career as a translator, the following necessities must be met:

  • Native-caliber expertise in speaking local and a particular foreign language
  • Familiarity with the basic tools used in translation
  • Ability to proofread one’s own output and work with a team
  • Excellent work ethics – being able to meet deadlines and collaborate with colleagues harmoniously

Naturally, translation companies could add more details on their qualification list, but professional translators in the current industry all know and practice these four on the list.

What is the chance of getting hired?

Considering the high demand both on local offices and online jobs, we could say, it’s high. However, it’s important to take note that there is also a growing number of people who can now speak multiple languages and wish to pour their skills in working as full-time translators. The more competition there is on the field, the more challenging it is to grab a spot.

Whether you decide to work on a local agency or work online, building up credibility is important. Companies abroad will look at your competencies based on your academic background as well as actual translating experience.

There is no foolproof way to determine whether you get hired or not, but if you want to increase your chances, the best thing to do is to work on solidifying your reputation and background as a translator.

Bottom line

The translation industry is here to stay. But whether or not you get hired depends primarily on your technical skills and ability to adapt to a company’s operations.

Aside from the good pay, the translation work also gives you more exposure and added knowledge to the foreign language you know or plan to perfect. Boost your competencies and start looking for opportunities!