A Day in The Life of a Creative Translator

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Often mistaken as easier than the work of a copywriter, the work of a translator is often misconstrued. Many have the opinion that the work of a translator is relatively easy given their ability to translate from one language to another. Nowadays, there are websites that translate content for free and you can hire a translation agency for an affordable fee. However, free translation can undermine the skill that’s involved behind the scenes to provide this kind of service.

The job of a creative translator is far more difficult. It’s not just translating text word for word. In fact, word for word translation is translation in its simplest form and is by no means easy. High quality translation goes further than this. Creative translators must incorporate cultural nuances and references of the target language in their translated work. This ensures it is translated in the most natural and fluid way.

In addition to this, the subject topic of the content can add further complication to one’s ability to translate a piece of text easily.

For example, when a creative translator is translating a piece of text about loans and finance from English to Spanish, they must require an in-depth knowledge of a Spaniard’s attitude and beliefs about loans and finance. It’s not just being an expert in Spanish language, but rather cultural linguistics too.

What characteristics are important for being a successful creative translator?

To excel as a creative translator, it’s important to possess the following:

  • Attention to detail.
  • The conscientiousness to respond to clients in a timely manner.
  • Natural and fluid translating ability to ensure the meaning is conveyed without allowing text to sound robotic.
  • Empathise with the audience of target language to create results.

Freelance Vs. Employed

Another consideration when exploring a day in the life of a creative translator is whether they are employed at a translation agency or offer their creative services as a freelance. The difference will drastically change the nature of work.

If a creative translator is employed by an agency, there will be fixed working hours with set times for lunch and short breaks in between. One of the main drawbacks to working for an agency is the lack of control felt over tasks assigned to translators, and there will be key performance indicators (KPIs) to meet daily. For example, a pre-decided amount of translated content that’s expected to be completed daily. Despite this, working for an agency is more financially stable month-to-month.

In contrast, the financial stability working as a freelancer may fluctuate month to month. This depends on how established you are working for yourself. A massive appeal to working freelance is the ability to choose your own hours and for how long you work too to meet deadlines. For some individuals, an early start is best, whereas others find they may be more productive in the evenings. When working for yourself, there is also greater scope for interacting with clients directly and building up a better clientele, leading to more regular work.

It’s quite typical for many creative translators to start out in their careers working for an agency to learn the processes and become accustomed to business acumen, before then going solo as a freelance.

Working from Home vs. Shared Office

Whether a creative translator is employed by an agency, or if they work as freelance, their working environment will also play a huge role in their day to day working life.

When working in an office, you have the social benefits of interacting with others in your space which is great for encouraging collaborative work.

In contrast, working from home provides more work life balance and the ability to spend more time with family in between work and during breaks.

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