Personality type:
Print and Media

The Lowdown        

  • Translating text from one language into another, while keeping the tone and intent as close to the original as possible
  • Researching and studying language, linguistic and cultural differences

Is this role right for me?

For this role, you will need to:

  • Be fully fluent in multiple languages
  • Be a strong writer in multiple languages
  • Have a keen interest in different cultures, specifically their language and linguistic styles
  • Research specialist knowledge if required to ensure an accurate translation
  • Know how to use translation memory software, such as Wordfast or Transit NXT
  • Be confident in your abilities, but also confident enough to seek advice and clarification when needed
  • Have excellent proofreading and editing skills

What does a Translator do?

A translator is responsible for taking a text written in one language, and copying it into a different language entirely. It’s a very specialist career, and requires in-depth knowledge and fluency in multiple languages, as well as a flexible writing style.

One of the key challenges of a translator is to ensure the original meaning and subtext is retained. It’s a career that requires a lot of study and patience, but can be incredibly satisfying when the copy finally reads correctly.

Will I need a qualification?

A lot of translation jobs specify a University graduate, although having plenty of experience speaking and writing multiple languages can help enormously. Having a degree in a foreign language study course is a bonus.

What’s the best route in?

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) does a lot of translating between European countries, and requires a graduate who can translate into main language (Which has to be English, French or German) from at least two other official EU languages. They also offer plenty of graduate schemes and apprenticeships.

If you are fluent in a more unusual language, you may find work in the private sector or as a freelancer. If you’re fluent in a language and have great interpreting skills, you can quickly build up a network of contacts to help you find jobs, and may find yourself interpreting in any number of areas, from film dubbing to international publishing.

Where might the role take me?        

In terms of progression, there are multiple pathways. Freelance translators can move up to larger and more influential projects, and employed Translators may find themselves being promoted upwards into supervisor roles. The core of the role is the same throughout – a passion for language and translation.

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  





  • Babel is a magazine dedicated to linguistic research


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