It takes way more than being bilingual to be a translator. Many people think that they can do translations just because they can be fluent in two or more languages, but is that enough?
I guess it is like in almost every field: professionals spend years of their lives studying Economics, Law, or Medicine, and those are jobs in which you can never stop learning. However, some say that by just reading and being self-taught in those topics, anyone can work in those fields without a University degree. And that is a big lie.
Being native or fluent in a language does not make you an expert in it. Maybe you can do proof-reading in your first or second language if you are comfortable. You have an extensive vocabulary and writing skills. Still, it will never be as impeccable as proof-reading made by a certified translator.
Would you trust an accountant with no studies? Then why would you hire a non-professional to do your translations? It just does not make sense. Of course, it is a must to be bilingual to be a translator, but that is not enough.
Translation and interpretation have always been making possible the interactions between cultures, especially now that globalization is a part of our lives. The world has become a vast community. That is why we should respect the job and those who make a living out of it.
Qualified translators cannot only express themselves or on behalf of others, but they have also learned how to adapt the translations to the culture of the target language. Moreover, they have to know the expressions and nuances in both languages to make the most accurate and high-quality translation. This is very important to ensure the sentence’s usability. It is also necessary to be aware of the tools used for correct translations.
Furthermore, bilingual people usually make mistakes in their translations or proof-readings. It is effortless to tell when someone is not writing in their native languages. Not even native speakers can write a good text in their first language if they do not have a formal linguistics background. It takes a lot more to be a good, stylish writer.
Professional translators are linguistic experts in all languages they work with. They are trained to master the grammatical and punctuation rules and use adequate words and styles depending on the situation. Also, they have cultural knowledge of both languages, and they understand how people behave in social interactions in their cultures.
There are several subject matters to choose from when you become a translator. Most professional translators usually specialize in one or more of them, depending on their studies, interests, and experience. This means that not all translators can work in the fields they are not trained in because they must be aware of the specific terminology. While looking for professional translation services, Katrium can be recommended, as they cover a huge network of international translators.
If you are bilingual, you are one step closer to being a translator if you want. Just do not leave it there. It takes a long time to master the profession. Still, there are many university degrees and post-graduate studies to become a qualified translator. It can be an excellent job.