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Other tongue

A translator converts a text or audio from the source language to the target language with equivalent meaning.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:18 IST
Hindustan Times

The lowdown
A translator converts a text or audio from the source language to the target language with equivalent meaning. A translator’s job is to understand the meaning and the context of the original writing and to translate it into another language. While translation, maintaining the integrity of the original work is of utmost importance. The text
can be anything from a novel to business correspondence. Many translators work as interpreters, too. In India,
most translators are absorbed in infotech. Other employers are car manufacturers, banks, airlines, hotels and
the chambers of commerce

Clock Work
A day of a translator working with an investment bank:
8.30am: Start conference calls
9am: Start translating higher priority documents
10.30am: Send updates to local and global teams
1pm: Lunch
1.30pm: Outsource work
3pm: Prepare daily report
4.30pm: Internal meeting
6.30pm: Leave for home

The payoff
A fresh graduate in French/German makes Rs25,000 to Rs30,000 a month in a top firm. A top interpreter can make Rs8 to Rs10 lakh a year

. Flair for various languages - reading, writing, speaking
. A keen ear for diction
. Eye for detail and accuracy
. Strong ethics as you could be dealing with sensitive documents
. Presence of mind, especially when interpreting

Getting There
There are different routes for learning a foreign language. You can take the language as a subject in school, if that is an option. Or, join one of the known institutes like Alliance Francaise or Max Mueller Bhavan. You could also do a part-time/full-time certificate course available at different universities and then move up to advanced level qualifications. Or, after Class 12, apply for a bachelors in your chosen language and follow it up with a masters.

. Jawaharlal Nehru University
. University of Delhi
. English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
. Alliance Française
. Max Mueller Bhavan
. Instituto Cervantes
. Instituto Camões -Portuguese Cultural Centre

Pros and cons
. You get to travel, learn about other cultures
. You can work part-time or freelance as per your convenience
. Translation is a sedentary, solitary exercise
. Freelancing pays only with a steady flow of assignments
. Constant renewal is a part of the job
. Various Translation Companies are working with freelancers around the Globe
. A freelancer can adjust his/her personal life and work as per their convenience
. There a lot of institutes that can help you learn the languages

Foreign languages are better paying as compared to Indian languages. But, what averages out the price is the fact that Indian languages are more in demand and have more work for translators Shilpa, works with a leading translation company based in Delhi

First Published: Jun 14, 2011 17:56 IST