Bilingual people are considered to be the lucky ones in today’s modern society. They are verse in more than one language due to one reason or another and are able to communicate and function in many situations that would otherwise be unavailable to others.
However, does being bilingual translate to being a good translator or is there more to it than that? What are some of the benefits and difficulties that bilingual people are met in their work environment due to their inconsequential knowledge?
Different types of bilingualism
People often forget that there are two vastly different types of bilingualism present in the society. Depending on which one you have, you are more or less apt for translation on your job:
· Bilingualism from birth, gained by being a child in a mixed marriage
· Bilingualism by independent learning, gained by studying a language by yourself
These two types of bilingualism are in no shape or form the same, and employers should pay close attention to ask for an explanation about a candidate’s ability to handle different languages. Not every employee is able to translate corporate documents and sometimes it can come as a detriment to even mention your knowledge on a job application.
Just because you do recognize two or more languages doesn’t necessarily mean that you are qualified for professional translation. If your manager does come up with the idea of giving you translation work without proper training or supervision, argue the fact that you are not very skilled at it.
Professional VS Amateur
Presenting yourself as a professional or an amateur translator can make a huge difference in the way you are treated as a bilingual. While it can be a positive that you know more than one language intimately, it creates a certain level of expectations towards you which is not always good. If you are unsure that you can deliver on the skill level that an employer sees in you when they hear “bilingualism”, make sure to lower those expectations as soon as possible.
Professional translators present themselves as bilingual, especially on services such as Pick Writers best translation website from english to spanish, but these people have studied each language long enough to be able to make that claim. If all you did with a language was to communicate orally and read a street sign here and there then you might not be cut out to be a professional writer.
Investing into courses, translation training as well as reading materials and practice should be enough to elevate you from the amateur level that you are in now. While that level is not bad by any means, it can’t help you land a professional translation position without additional development.
Bilingualism and translation
We can safely summarize that bilingualism doesn’t necessarily entail translation, since you do need proper training and development. Reaching a point where you are confident enough to translate entire documents and present yourself as a viable choice for translator positions will take some time.
However, while bilinguals aren’t counted as translators automatically, the opposite is very true – translators are bilingual by definition. Their work requires them to have great knowledge of grammar, formatting and culture of each language they work with.
Knowing the difference between the two will help you develop the skills you already have and discover which ones you lack in. Hone your language skills and nurture your bilingual side by practicing translation whenever you can – it’s the only way to get good at it and stand out from the crowd of other translators waiting to land a project.