The responsibilities of a real time interpreter are to interpret the meaning of the speaker. The consecutive interpreter, on the other hand performs the translator jobs by waiting in anticipation of the speaker to finish speaking when they start the interpretation. The former needs speed while the latter needs memory, and both the translator and the interpreter need accuracy. Literal translation is the hardest to perform. Translators and specifically literal translators deal with literary pieces like poetry and fiction. Hence the translators do the translation and are required to have a thorough and detailed knowledge of literary work. Translators, especially literary translators are self employed. But there are others who may be employed at colleges or at organizations that require translation jobs to be performed.
The academic requirements of the translator jobs include thorough study of at least one foreign language. Interested individuals can take extra courses in high school. A college degree is essential for most of the translator work. In college potential translators and interpreters can go for a study of the foreign languages and hone their writing skills. You may also choose to go for courses in other fields as well. The technical translators require a special background in the following subjects:
Training in more than one foreign language and the capability to read the scripts of these languages is a necessary part of the translator jobs. Some of the common foreign languages in which a potential translator or interpreter is expected to be trained are the above mentioned languages as this helps you get a letter of recommendation as well as gives you potential contacts.
Prior experience is an important factor in the translators' jobs when an interpreter or translator tries to land a job with the government offices or the United Nations. In that case, having knowledge of more than two of the official languages mentioned in the United Nations Charter with experience in teaching in an institution for a couple of years or a steady work experience are counted as an added advantage.
The US government employs a few hundred people as translators and interpreters on a yearly basis. It is the same with the United Nations. Translation and interpretation is a small and competitive field and with the opportunities of the translator jobs growing, more and more countries and businesses are taking on international dealings.
The salaries of the translators vary on the basis of skill, experience, education, subject matter, language, certification, and employer category. It may be $16.28 per hour for a qualified translator to $27.45 per hour for the experienced translators. Interpreters and translators with special skills such as software localization and federal employees can make about $71,625 per year. If you are into freelancing, the self employed translators can make from $20 to $30 per hour.
In case you are aspiring to be a language translator or for that matter an interpreter who would want to start a career in professional translating, you can begin your career as a bilingual secretary and proceed to better openings like full scale translators or interpreters for the job of your dreams.