How To Become a Book Translator

An Effective Guide for You on How To Become a Book Translator!

Becoming a book writer is something else, and becoming a translator of a book is a completely different shift of paradigm for a person. A translator is someone who is an expert in more than one language and provides an explanation of one language’s person to another. Book translation is something that is rarely done in the modern day and age, especially with the advent of AI technologies in the recent past. The task is very difficult to execute and manage, but it is very rewarding in the modern-day. 

Who is a Book Translator?

A book translator is a person who translates the literary work of an author from one language to another. The sole purpose of book translators is to tell a compelling story to people in their native language. Book translation is seemingly a very easy job as all you have to execute is a word-for-word translation of the book, which is about 200-300 pages only. The job isn’t as simple as it looks. The literary translator has to go through numerous academic and professional translational programs and pieces of training to master the art. Here’s how you can effectively master the stressful art, and find the answer to your query of how to become a translator.

The do’s to become a literary translator

To become a literary translator you have to follow a certain guideline to make sure that you are the best in the market for your author. Literary Translators are very heavily equipped with some of the best skills of translation, communication, and other important skills to master the art. Here’s our attempt to tell you about some of the tricks, tips, and skills you need to get better at or learn completely to become a literary translator who stands out.

Learn Translation

The whole idea and this paragraph may seem a bit absurd to you, but the truth is, to have a literary translation career, and make a living out of it, you have to endure numerous translation courses to make sure that you don’t miss a mark when you sit to translate a book. This will create your way further in your journey to a career in literary translation. 

Don’t Work in a Rush

When you are looking to dive into this world of literary translation, you need to be patient and work your way through the learning period first. You need to make a habit of translating stuff for yourself, be it weekly, or daily if you can manage that. For you to aim for publishing at the very first step of your journey is too early. Just pick your favorite book, and try to translate it for yourself into the language you want to work in the future. Patience will make it work for you and you’ll surely be able to publish one day.

Get Certifications

Seek certificates for your translation work. Never go fully dependent on your skill and always seek certifications that are the most suitable according to your future job as a literary translator. Here are some of the certification firms that provide you with the first professional stamp on your skill, and future as a translator in the literature:

Know The Characteristics

To make a literary translation career for yourself, you must know the free characteristics they have as professionals. Every profession and professionals have some characteristics that are common in them and make them stand out in front of others. Literary Translators, despite being a profession with a handful of people, have some characteristics, such as knowing the culture of what you’re translating, and for whom you are going to do that. This will ensure that you are familiar with not only translation but with the norms of the culture and language.

Being Passionate for the Skill

You should have the passion to learn, and do the work. The whole purpose of you learning the skill of translating a book is your passion, or maybe you’re just taking a chance to be on a somewhat empty playing field. Whatever the goal is, being passionate about should be your absolute reach, because once you lose your passion for becoming a Literary Translator, you’ll slowly lose the plot and everything will vanish instantly.

These things will help you get better at literary translation and make sure that you are a skillful, learned, and passionate translator who takes up any given task related to literary translation. Since we’ve now looked at the things that make you better at your work, we’ll help you with digital platforms that look to get a literary translator for themselves regularly. There are numerous freelance platforms where you can find a job according to your niche of translation. All you need to do is search for one and maybe settle for something that is below your expectations of a salary cap. If you settle for less in the beginning, chances are that the experience you gain on that platform will make you ask for the price you want. 

Is it a safe option?

To be honest, in the brief time I’ve spent researching, reading, and going into the book markets, I’ve not come across Literary Translators that much. They are rarely found in the market, although this is a very personal opinion presented, let’s face it, you have to be an extremely skillful translator to shift into a full-time translator mode. There are fewer chances of making a career with it, but, never say never as they say, because you never know what life has in its package of surprises for you. But, you can’t just sit back and relax till the time you find a full-time opportunity as a literary translator. You should have a secondary stream of income that brings food to your table. Maybe, your future hides a big surprise for you. Nonetheless, we’ll still dive into the ways you can get a better understanding of publishers, and writers, and make it your full-time job.

Understand The Publishers

You need to have a profound understanding of publishers to tell them that you know a thing or two about translation. You’d have to know the importance of publishing, and look into its phases, stages, and where your work as a translator would start. You also need to build a network around you that’ll be your guide in connecting you with the marketers’ when there’s a need for a translator. Also, you may have to collaborate with publishers to ensure that you are constantly working. Make sure you’re helping them in bits and pieces to keep your work ticking and earn a few cents as well. Lastly, you’ve to keep learning and make sure that from one assignment to another, you’ve upgraded according to the needs of marketers. This way, you’ll hopefully create a roadmap that leads to permanency with Literary Translation. 

Reaching an Online Agency

Another effective way for you to start earning your literary translator salary is by reaching out to online agencies that want translators. Collaboration with these agencies also known as LSPs (Language Service Provider) has a plethora of work regarding the translation of books in different languages. With time, you’ll be getting ample work to secure a future with book translation as a profession.

Online Communities. 

Online communities can be a very great option for you to get activated as a translator. You will get to know a thing or two about the profession, you’ll get to know how many translators are situated near you. You’ll also have a helping hand by your side to effectively learn, and most importantly, online communities will open a lot of conversations about translation, how to master it, new opportunities, and inspiring stuff about the work that’ll make working a lot easier for you.

To Conclude

The blog was intended to inform you about book translation as a profession, where you look into what book translation is, and who is a book translator. We also shed light on things that will make you a better book translator. There were also some opinions thrown by the writer on his personal experience of finding and researching for translators, along with some online benefits you can get as a book translator once you sign up with a platform or join a community of translators. This blog was a mix of research and personal opinion of the writer, any conflicting matter is welcomed as a difference that we carry in our opinions. Follow Book Writing Online for more on our Facebook, and Instagram.


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