6 Most Important Skills Sets to Have as a Language Professional

skills for translator career interpreter career

 

The secret is out! The job demand for people in translator and interpreter careers is skyrocketing, and will continue to grow in this ever diversifying world.

If you have always dreamed of working for yourself, on your own terms, and you have the gift of being bilingual or multilingual, an interpreter and/or translator career is the perfect fit for you!

These 6 essential skills are a must-have as you pursue being a successful language professional:  

1.    Advanced English Skills

This may seem like an obvious skill to possess, but there are intricate and sometimes complicated grammar rules for English. This includes comma usage rules, knowing the difference between active and passive voice, capitalization rules, proper punctuation, deciphering idioms & metaphors, and much more.

Knowing what quality writing looks like and dispelling common myths about writing is also important knowledge to have in a translator or interpreter career. 

2. Business Skills

Working for yourself requires business and communication skills, and will earn you prosperity.

Mastering time management, effective communication skills with language service providers, payment practices, and marketing skills will bring you business and allow you the freedom to control your own schedule. 

3. Translation Skills

There is more to being a translator than just translating words. There are foundational skills that are carried throughout a language professional’s career.

Learning the basic steps of the translation process, developing document formatting skills, and knowing how to use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, are all skills that are essential to becoming a capable and fully functioning translator.  

4. Interpreting Skills

Did you know there are multiple types of interpreting? Becoming experienced in simultaneous, consecutive, and bilateral interpreting will ensure business keeps coming your way.

Other important skills include practicing ethical interpreting, effective teamwork with interpreting partners, memory work, and sufficient note-taking skills.

5. Utilizing Your Toolset

As a language professional, you will learn to use many tools that are helpful in your career.

Some skills you will need to include in your toolset include working with Microsoft Office applications, using Google like a pro, learning WordReference basics, knowing technical equipment for interpreting, and properly using professional social networks.  

6. Lifestyle Skills

Living a fulfilling life as a language professional is one of the most important skills to master. Many translators and interpreters work by themselves from home, which makes it important to set up a productive and peaceful environment.

To be fully successful in your work, you must learn how to keep yourself healthy & happy, avoid isolation, create a productive workspace, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. 


When you become a member of the Institute of Language Professionals, comprehensive lessons on these essential skills will provide you all the knowledge you need to become the best language professional you can be. Become your own boss, work the schedule you want, and let your gift of language guide a successful career in translation & interpreting.   

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