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Become a Turkish Translator: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a Turkish translator. Learn about the job description and read the step-by-step process to start a career in Turkish translation.

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Should I Become a Turkish Translator?

Turkish translators convert written materials into and from Turkish and at least one other language. They can translate novels, business materials, academic materials and court documents, among others. These professionals typically work from home, receiving and submitting assignments electronically. Work can fluctuate, which can result in some periods of limited work and some periods of overtime hours. In general, however, work in this field is expected to grow at a higher-than-average rate over the 2012-2022 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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  • Comparative Literature
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Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's
Degree Field(s) Turkish language, translation studies
Experience None (entry level)
Key Skills Fluency in both English and Turkish, active listening, reading comprehension, writing, judgment, word processing programs, computerized terminology banks
Salary (2014) $43,590 (median salary for all interpreters and translators)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine

Step 1: Earn a Degree

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the educational requirements for all translators, including Turkish translators, depends on the employer, but a bachelor's degree is usually necessary. Degree options are available for students in Turkish language or translation studies programs. Aspiring Turkish translators can also major in fields that are relevant to the type of translating they want to do, such as judicial, medical and literary translation.

Success Tip:

  • Consider a dual major. Another option is for students to dual major in a specialty field and translation studies or foreign language. In translation studies programs, students learn the basics of translation, including receiving and processing information. Programs can include training in computer-assisted translation, memory skills and sight translation.

Step 2: Become Fluent in Turkish

Turkish translators need to be fluent in Turkish and at least one other language. Being fluent means that Turkish translators know their languages so well that they can convert slang terms, idioms, ideas and context without losing the original meaning. Additionally, Turkish translators are well versed about the culture of the people who speak the languages so they can explain cultural references. Aspiring translators can acquire and advance their language skills through Turkish studies programs at colleges and universities that combine language studies with Turkish history, folklore and cultural courses.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

While in college, students can seek out internships to gain valuable work experience. After graduation, Turkish translators can apply at translation companies for entry-level jobs. Also, volunteer opportunities through Turkish-American associations or other organizations could help entry-level Turkish translators build a portfolio of work and gain practical experience.

Step 4: Join a Professional Translators Association

Organizations for professional translators are one way to find employment openings, network with other translators and stay current on industry trends. The American Translators Association (ATA) provides an online directory of translators for its members, which allows people seeking translation services to find a translator. The ATA also offers workshops and seminars around the U.S. to help translators hone their skills and provides business services such as insurance plans. Members can attend regional chapters of the ATA to network with other professionals.

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