Help me translate skills into money and interpret my path.
January 6, 2009 3:53 PM Subscribe
Should I be a french translator/interpeter and how?
posted by kenzi23 to work & money (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Should I/could I become a freelance translator/interpreter with the skills I have? Should I get specialized training/certification?
Background: I am fluent in English (mother tongue) and French. French skills in order of strength include speaking, listening, reading and writing. I studied French in formal classes for about 4 years (in high school and college) but have been speaking/reading/writing for 25 years, always progressing. I have lived and worked and studied in France and Morocco (for a total of 2 years), was married to a native french speaker for 13 years and I worked at the United Nations for 7 years as a bilingual secretary and later research assistant (performing 60-70% of my duties in French). My strengths are speaking, fluidity of speech, fearlessness, near-native accent and wide vocabulary in a variety of fields. My weaknesses are idioms and formal writing. I have lived all over the world so I have a lot of coping and social skills for dealing with different cultures and situations.
I would like to use my French skills on a freelance basis to supplement my income and to use a language that I love. I am looking for something part-time, maybe 10 hours a week (at least when starting out). My questions for the hive mind are as follows:
1. Should I be focusing on translation or interpretation, or both, given my skills which are more skewed toward speech?
2. Must I have certification? If so, what kind? How is NYU's program?
3. If I don't need certification are there some skills or techniques that I should get a handle on to do my work better? Do I have the necessary skills already?
4. What do you recommend as a good path to getting gigs? Volunteering? Getting cast-off gigs from others in the field? Where to look?
5. Are there other ways that I could use my language skills on a freelance/part-time basis?
I'm in New York City so anything specific to NYC would be a great help.