2. Find a Translation and Interpretation class: If you want to be a high calibre translator, being around other linguists will help no end. Classes which bring translators together to constructively criticise each other’s work will double as proofreading practice, which is another skill a translator needs in order to make sure their work is finished to the highest possible standard.
3. Immerse yourself in your second language: Travel! If you can, living in the country of your second language will be an immersive experience which will mean that you’ll come back thinking in your second language. This is a huge advantage for a translator, as it means you can work faster and with an almost native level of accuracy. Just don’t find the local expat bar!
4. Volunteer: Volunteering is a sure-fire way of getting your name out there; the more you do, the more people you meet. If you’re going to be a freelance translator, making connections will be vital when you start applying for work. Volunteering also means you will have experience on your CV, which will also help when it comes to future translation work as it shows employers you’ve been working over a consistent period of time. Also, volunteering helps you maintain and improve your skills, which will assist you when it comes to getting paid work.
5. Take a language proficiency test: There are many language proficiency tests you can take. The recommended one in the UK, however, is on the Language Line solutions website. This will ensure your knowledge is up to scratch for a translator and interpreter.
6. Get working: Sign up to translator and interpreter forums, and monitor them for any work postings you may be suitable for. This isn’t the only way to do it- send your CV to as many employers as you can.They probably will want to test your level of skill again in order to make sure you’re up to the job, but it’s necessary to ensure they’re getting what they pay for.
7. Have a niche: This is probably one of the most important parts of being a freelance translator, as specialised translators earn far more money because they’re in demand within certain sectors. For example, if you have a knowledge of the medical profession and have a great grasp on medical vocabulary then health services and pharmaceutical companies will want you translating for them. This doesn't mean you shouldn't go for jobs which aren't in a specialised field, but if you can get work in a niche area then those jobs will probably pay more. When you've got through these steps you’ll be well on your way to having a long and successful career in the translation industry. Good luck!