Today I’d like to welcome Regina Seelos, an experienced English<->German translator, who has kindly agreed to write a short post about specialising in the translation industry. Here’s what she has to say:
“Speaking with newbies in the translation industry, I’ve often had the impression that they are rather discouraged and don’t know where to start. This is why I think that Karen’s blog here is a great idea and opportunity to show that often all it takes is some courage to be successful: You have the expertise after going through training and examinations – all you lack is experience and specialisation which comes along by working.
How do you find your specialist areas?
Feedback from customers is a great way of finding your specialisation. In my case it was often lawyers who really liked my contracts. So I figured: Well, I seem to be good at it so I will specialise in this field. If you get brilliant feedback for jobs you’ve done you should consider making the field your specialist area. (And yes, there will of course be negative feedback too – nobody’s perfect – but you can learn from it.) It also helps if you have plenty of experience in a field – from former jobs, hobbies, or the like. For example, I completed a 3-year training in business administration at a car manufacturer before I became a translator. The more you know about a field the better your translations. You can achieve good results with excellent research skills too but this is time-consuming and will only pay off after a while. An option is to consider this time as an investment in building specialist areas. In my opinion, this time factor is one of the strongest arguments in favour of specialisation – except for quality. After all, we all work to make a living and it will help if you can reduce the time needed for research after a while.”
Regina Seelos * Translator specialising in the legal, marketing and technical field * www.seelos.de
Please feel free to leave any comments for Regina or for myself below.