A Career in Translation

Translators read text in one language and translate it in a second language in writing.

Staff and freelance translators

Professional translators are either staff translators (employed by companies, the EU or government departments) or freelance translators.

Freelance translators are self-employed and either work directly for the client (companies, embassies, solicitors, the authorities) or are commissioned by translation companies.

Some of the areas requiring translation are medical, legal, technical, business and literary and there are many sub-areas within each of these areas, for example, within legal: property documents, employment contracts, company statutes and within technical: automotive, electronics, maritime.

Typical documents that require translation are annual reports, technical specifications, health and safety manuals, EU Directives, travel guides, websites, birth certs.

Over the past number of years, additional stand-alone areas of activity have emerged for the translator: proofreading (for example of texts written by non-native language speakers), sub-titling, project management, post-editing (of machine-translated texts), abstract writing.

Staff and freelance translators

Translation is a very specialised skill. In order to be a successful translator it is not sufficient to be “good at languages”.

Check out our members stories where ATII members talk about their work as translators and/or interpreters.