Translation services are one of the most attractive industries. Demand of translation services is global. Rapidly changing business dynamics have created an intensive demand for professional translators. Business organizations, medical institutions, educational institutions, federal agencies etc hire translation companies or independent translators to convert documents or speeches from one language to another. More and more people are choosing translation and interpretation as their career. Several others often wonder about merits and demerits of being a translator.
Like every profession, translation and interpretation has its own advantages and disadvantages. Primary advantage of being a translator is that one need not pursue any higher education for the same. Independent professionals need to have knowledge of at least two languages to pursue their career in the field of translation. Many people prefer learning languages in the same subgroup in order to expand their expertise. Independent professionals can work at their own pace. They do not have to report to anybody. Flexi hours are best suited for home makers, students or consultants. Being an independent professional allows the person to work from comforts of his or her home. It also saves time spent for commuting from one place to another. It allows the professionals to strike a perfect balance between their personal and professional life. Freelancers can choose between different projects. They can decide which projects to work on and which projects to decline.
On the other hand, there are several demerits of being a translator. Being an independent professional brings in an element of uncertainty in terms of income. Translators earn a decent amount if they have projects or else they need to strive hard to keep the business rolling. Freelancers often face payment delays and quality issues with the client. There is tremendous competition from translation agencies hence freelancers need to keep their quotes extremely low. Several freelancers work as sub contractors and hence are underpaid. Specialized translators like medical Tamil translators or translators who work on technical Hindi translation find it difficult to get niche projects. Working solo also means that one needs to handle all aspects of business like marketing, client servicing etc by him or herself. Solo workers often miss interactions and contributions from coworkers. Many independent professionals suffer from monotony at work. One must be cautious and think twice before deciding to be an independent translator or a freelancer. One should be willing to take risks in order to enjoy long term benefits.