Improving as a Translator

Almost two months ago, we asked you what you would like researchers in Translation and Interpreting Studies to discover. As you will find out here, two of the top three answers were about getting better. 5 of you wanted researchers to help you find ways to keep improving your skills. Another 5 of you wanted us to discover Better or More Appropriate Training.

To be fair, academics have been trying to provide better training for years. We have also started to realise that becoming a great translator (we will get onto interpreting next week) is not something that ends with a degree. Actually, the best translators never stop getting better.

It’s also very strange that many talented and successful translators have never set foot in a classroom. Universities can provide all the training they want but some people will always come into translation via an alternative route. For such people, getting better might be more about going to tradeshows than listening to talks; it might involve more hands on work than book work.

So how about you? How do you keep getting better? Rather than provide a list of ways that we think translators should keep improving, we would like you to post your own tips below.

In the comments below, we would like you to write how you keep on getting better. Do you read technical journals? Do you keep up with Translation Studies research? Do you invest in new dictionaries? What websites do you subscribe to? What classes do you take?

Let’s make this the world’s biggest source of tips for translators. Over to you!

2 thoughts on “Improving as a Translator

  1. It’s sad that there is no reply yet… I wanted to pick up some tips since I just started to work as a translator…Any advice?

    • Personally, my biggest tip would be to find other translators and hang around them. If you can find some text somewhere to practice on, this will give them something concrete to look at. Even once you have gone through some training (pretty much a must), there is nothing more useful than getting peer feedback.

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