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Run, Jerome, run!

By Daniel Ángel, Senior Translator and Editor

To be honest, I have long wanted to talk about something that, even if it may be part of the past for some of us and largely known by those who are already in this translation industry, may be of real value for all those who are now trying to get into this crazy activity which is translating. My dear student friend, this post is for you. Everything you’ll read in this post from now on may seem a cliché to you; I will certainly go over old times but, when I was in your place, also with less problems to worry about and more hair (I don’t know yet if both are linked), I had countless doubts about what I would face after finishing my studies or what the translation industry would require from me… many doubts that I could not even imagine about what was to come.

May I call you Jerry? It will be easier in this way.

When you’re in college, you receive a great amount of pre-conceptions about translation that undoubtedly determines the professional you want to become once you finish this long race. The problem arises when those entrusted to teach you what involves translating do not know what is actually translating nowadays. I mean, I don’t want to generalize on this matter but in many Spanish universities the translation practice is taught without taking into account the actual needs in the job market; in other words, they usually put translation tools and job skills aside. I’m not only talking about TAO tools, but resources to run QA checks, creating reports, query processes, etc. Even how to manage time, how to make an invoice… real staff that you won’t find in any treatise on translation. When I was a student, I would have liked that the reality smashed me in the form of speech before it actually did, and even if I don’t like to give advice, I want you to know that:

At this point I guess you have reached to understand the reasons that drove me to warn you on what you may encounter. If you have already taken into account the previous facts or you even go beyond, congratulations. Otherwise, I just can say that you are still on time. Run, Jerry, run!

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