Students career advice: transcreation, social media etc.

Multiple Career Options

Being a translator is not the only occupation in the language service industry. Another appealing and potentially lucrative career is that of an
interpreter. Interpreters are used in many areas of business and society, ranging from foreign business meetings, to international courts, to even speaking for a newly signed sports star from abroad.

Although many see vast similarities between an interpreter and a translator, these two roles are fundamentally different. As well as the obvious difference in medium, as a translator will translate a written text, and an interpreter will translate orally, interpreters are also expected to possess a vastly different skill set.

For instance, a translator needs to be able to use written copy to express themselves clearly, and can utilize a good library of dictionaries and references to help with their translations. This means that a good translator is not always bilingual. But an interpreter, on the other hand, needs to be able to immediately translate in at least two languages, without the use of dictionaries.

Another option for graduates is project management. This role involves working with the translators to satisfy the clients’ requests and requires good organisation, negotiation skills and, at times, a lot of patience. Although project managers do not do much actual translating, the job does involve proofreading, with knowledge of CAT tools being a huge advantage.

Transcreation Services

Transcreation is more than just a direct translation of text. It is a creative service that allows linguists to be flexible when fulfilling a client’s request.

A transcreator is essentially a hybrid of a translator and a writer. The role allows for more freedom when translating text, enabling the use of the brief as a guide before producing targeted, informed, and relevant copy to clients.

At TranslateMedia, we realize that the international audience can be fundamentally different to the domestic market, as every nation has its own unique tastes and buying habits. Therefore, the central aim for a transcreator is to provide content suitable for your target audience by noting cultural differences that could affect written copy.

Most importantly, transcreators need to ensure that the content remains interesting for the reader.

So for those looking for an exciting and imaginative role, transcreation offers a creative challenge for those aspiring to enter the language service industry.

Smart Phones

The advent of the smart phone has also contributed to increasing the workload of translators, as there has been an explosion in the number of applications that are available on the Android market.

The statistics surrounding mobile phone applications are truly staggering. Between May 2009 and June 2010, the Android platform grew approximately 29% month-over-month, culminating in over 150,000 apps by March 2011.

Much of the content currently available for smart phone apps is only offered in English, but the global market is huge, and the Internet means that geographic barriers are easily bypassed. This ensures that there are real opportunities for translation and localisation in this area.

Apps Translation

One such example is the Karaoke4English Audio book Reader that is available on the Android Market. Created by Brainglass, the language learning smart phone app developer, Karaoke4English is designed to give beginner-level English learners a platform from which they can gain a greater grasp of the English language, by employing a vibrant audio-visual structure.

With new applications becoming available every day, there is an opportunity for translators to work in this growing industry.

Video Game Localization

Video game developers and publishers speak of a worldwide market for their products. Yet, there is still a gulf between Japanese and American tastes.

A relatively small amount of Western games manage to sell a significant amount of copies in Japan. This is partly due to the poor attempts made by game developers to localise their games for the Japanese market.

Only in a few cases have firms taken the necessary time to make changes to a game to broaden its appeal for the Japanese market. One example is Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank, where Ratchet sprouted big, bushy eyebrows to conform to Japanese character design.

Nintendo Europe has often been successful with the localisation of their games. For instance, the Wii-exclusive RPG Xenoblade will not only receive a thorough translation of the approximately 4 million words, but Nintendo is also set to produce new cover-art that should be more appealing for a western audience.

Currently, the video game industry is thriving. It was worth an estimated $48.3 billion in 2008, but this is projected to grow to $68.3 billion in 2012.

Social Media

Social Media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have become more than just social channels. They can now add value to a brand, with Dell claiming that it has earned $3 million just from Twitter posts since 2007.

We are living in what is becoming known as the social era. With more than 24-hours of video uploaded on YouTube every minute, and Twitter claiming to have grown from 75 million users in 2010 to 175 million users in 2011, social media websites are a global phenomenon.

Companies now increasingly see the need to be engaged in social media, as it provides an opportunity to represent your brand and moderate conversation. It is also a good way to communicate upcoming promotions with potential customers. For example, on Facebook, 40% of people would ‘like’ a brand, company, or association to receive discounts or a special offer.

For international firms that are operating in global markets, Multilingual Social Media Monitoring is required to engage with customers who may be speaking a wide variety of languages. The increasing importance of this service is certain to give upcoming translators the opportunity to engage with the new frontier of social media.

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