I got my bachelor’s degree in Spanish from a private university in Oklahoma in 2010. Unsatisfied with my language abilities, I moved to Spain shortly after graduating to remedy that problem. I ended up teaching English for five years all the while desiring to use my language skills more professionally.
Translation was the logical choice, so I looked for ways to make an inroad into this field. I read books such as Corinne McKay’s How To Succeed As A Freelance Translator; I translated as a volunteer for a blog called Mexico Voices for a couple of years to gain experience; I took an online course on translation through International House; and I attended a handful of webinars.
Common themes emerged as skills that I needed to improve if I wanted to be a successful translator:
- Language skills (especially niche-specific language in both SL and TL and writing skills in TL)
- Business skills (marketing, etc.)
- Technological skills
I kept these priorities in mind when looking for a master’s program, and I finally settled on a program in Madrid at Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio. Since I had studied Spanish and not Translation, like many of my peers in this program, I expected to feel like I was far behind. However, much to my surprise, I learned that technological skills such as the use of CAT tools are not a priority in most undergraduate translation programs in Spain. I don’t know if this is the same for programs in the U.S., but based on the availability and content of master’s programs in this field in the U.S., it appears to be similar.
Through this master’s program, I stumbled upon an increasingly complex and in-demand field.
Now I work for a large international translation company. On a daily basis I look for solutions to problems that come up in translation and localization projects, and I use a variety of tools to solve those problems.
I’m passionate about this area, but I’ve found that there are few websites and blogs dedicated to sharing these solutions. With this blog, I want to share my knowledge with others who are looking for solutions to the same problems I have encountered and continue to encounter and be a part of the translation technology community.
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