Suppose you have recently been thinking about starting up as a translator in the Philippines. In that case, you most likely wonder what other steps that you need to take to become a professional translator in the Philippines; thus, we will be covering this very question by going through the steps and stages you will need to take along the process.
Apart from how to be a translator in the Philippines, we will also be going through some handy tips and tricks for new translators who have just joined the profession.
Table of Contents
How To Be A Translator Philippines
1. Obtain The Basic Qualifications
Besides knowing how to speak at least two languages, taking a translation training program is an important step on how to be a translator in the Philippines. Mcislanguages has a free online translation program that explains all the basics of being a translator.
In addition, if you want to enhance a foreign language, you can check out the foreign language program from mc.edu.ph.
You can also think about what field you want to specialize in. Many translators specialize in the arts, legal, medical, finance, or business, among many others. They become experts in a subject matter when translating because they utilize their experience from their field.
2. Pass A Language Proficiency Test
When you pass a language proficiency test, you can improve your translator credentials. Since it is a standardized test, it proves that you are fluent in a language and have the necessary language abilities.
There are also other qualifications that you may wish to investigate. This may give you a great advantage when starting to become a translator in the Philippines. Communication skills and instructing / coaching are common qualifications in this industry. Still, depending on what type of translator you wish to be, additional qualifications may give you an advantage as a new translator.
3. Acquire Experience In Translating
This step on how to be a translator in the Philippines is important for those who are just starting in the language translation industry. You can gain experience by starting as a paid or unpaid intern. This is one of the common ways translators gain experience. However, there is also a chance to be an employee full-time.
After getting some background experience, you can apply for an entry-level job to better understand the process and business of translating. Aside from honing your skills, experience also allows you to show samples of your work to potential clients, gain recommendations, and possibly get a steady translating job.
4. Market Your New Translating Skills
Whether you decide to have a translating business or be employed as a translator, marketing is crucial. You can check out Upwork and JobStreet for clients and companies that seek translators. Fiverr is also a very good platform for beginners looking to offer their gigs (in other words freelancing work).
Another method to market yourself is to have a website or blog and join communities of professional translators to create your network. Thereover, when you network with other professionals, you can better understand what rates to charge for translators.
Some platforms, such as Gengo, allow aspiring translators to take an assessment test and put them in their roster of translators for clients seeking a translation service.
Direct mailing translation firms are a good idea since they are searching for capable translators all the time. You can indicate your name, contact information, language(s) you are proficient in, your rates, and a request for a translation test. It is recommended to keep your message brief since there are fewer chances of it being read if it is too long.
5. Decide On Your Rates
When looking at how to be a translator in the Philippines, it is recommended to keep your rates competitive. Your time, industry, and your experience are some of the considerations when deciding on your rate.
According to PayScale, the average hourly rate of translators in the Philippines is P436.76. More of this later. As you obtain more experience, you can charge more and decide whether you want to be paid for every hour, word, or piece.
It is common for those who are just starting to charge the lowest rate to get a job. Nevertheless, this may not be a good move since clients can view the translator as low-quality.
Some experts in translating suggest it is not a good idea to charge high since the client might look for other translators. Starting at a sustainable rate can create good relationships with clients for the long-term.
But ultimately, when deciding on your final rate, there will be many factors to consider. For example, if you are working with Filipino businesses, rates are often lower than working with businesses in Western countries.
6. Have The Right Translating Software
CAT or computer-aided translation is a software needed by translators and interpreters. That is because it helps them perform translations more efficiently and accurately. You can check these CAT programs that can help you on how to be a translator in the Philippines. However, some sources suggest Google Translate is not recommended to be used on translation projects.
7. Learn & Grow
As you become a pro at what you do, continuous learning is needed to be updated about the latest technologies, news, and trends in the translation industry.
Keeping up to date can help you stand out more in your profession and even earn more money by seeing the different opportunities within the industry.
You can also take a master’s degree to better market yourself. Diversification and specialization are some of the opportunities continuing education can provide you.
For translators who plan to specialize in a field, it is also crucial to be updated on the developments and regulations in their specific field. In addition, processes and terminologies can change, so research is needed to be an expert in the subject matter.
Translators can read magazines, try demo versions of new software, and get a subscription to related newsletters. Keeping translators up with the latest developments is needed to avoid underperforming.
Salary Of Translators In The Philippines
According to data from SalaryExplorer, Filipino translators earn an average of P37,000 a month, totaling P446,000 annually. However, the lowest salary range for translators in the Philippines is P17,000, and the highest is P59,200, statistics indicate.
Experience is the most crucial indicator of the salary of translators in the Philippines. The more experience a translator has, the higher the offered salary is. If a candidate has less than two years of experience, the approximate salary can be P19,400 every month.
Those who have 2 to 5 years’ experience can earn P25,900 every month. This is more than 30% higher compared to those who have less than two years of experience.
Manila and San Juan are considered the highest paying cities for translators in the Philippines.
The most popular skills for translators in the country are English which has an average rate of P437 every hour, and Chinese / Mandarin, with an average rate of P320 every hour.
Translator Tips For The Philippines
Practicing Reading Using Your Second Language
Aspiring translators can improve their sense of language when they read using their second language. Moreover, it also makes them more familiar with different life situations in another language. Language skills become more developed when one has good reading habits.
Regular reading in your second language can make you better understand how people communicate using that language and the reason why they use words to express themselves.
Observing Other Translators
Another helpful tip on how to be a translator in the Philippines is to see what other translators do. This can help aspiring translators because it can help them improve their language skills. However, it does not mean that they need to copy what others do. Rather, they can learn from other translators’ ways and discover hidden meanings in words.
You can use materials such as books or articles and their texts to understand how other translators depict the message of the material. Then, you can examine their translation and figure out why they opted to stress or remove details of the text.
What aspiring translators must remember is that each translator has their technique. Therefore, they can make mistakes or have translations that explain the target text accurately. You can use this to learn and improve your techniques.
Travel To Understand The Culture
You can have a different perspective of cultures and ways you handle different situations when you travel. In addition, you can meet new people from different walks of life and get to know the culture better.
You can also practice your second language out of your comfort zone when you travel. This kind of experience is unique since you engage yourself with new communities and utilize the language to the locals. Because you can communicate better, you can be a better translator in the long run as well.
Listening To The Clients
One of the most important skills translators need is listening skills since this improves their reputation and keeps their clients. In addition, it makes it possible for you to understand what they expect from your work and anticipate what they could need.
It would help if you remembered that the client and the end-users often aren’t the same in translation. So, the more you teach yourself to listen, the easier it becomes to deliver the benefits the end-users need without ignoring what the client wants.
Translators can expand their network by meeting potential clients when they attend translation conferences and events. They can get updates on the latest translation trends, innovations, tools, and techniques to market themselves and obtain clients. You can also socialize, which can be more helpful when you work on your own.
Attending translation events can have many advantages on how the work is viewed and how the business can be managed.
Asking For Assistance
Even though translating may work for one person, there can be better results when working with others. For example, you do not need to feel nervous asking for assistance if you have difficulty understanding a text or keeping up with deadlines. Instead, ask for more details from your client or get another translator to help you improve the results.