Friday, January 18, 2019
Jobs Careers

Posted at: Dec 6, 2017, 12:41 AM; last updated: Dec 6, 2017, 12:41 AM (IST)

Success not lost in translation

Will technology replace humans?

  • Owing to the advent of technological advancements like Google translator, some might feel that these technological advancements might replace humans. While this does serve a purpose if you want to understand the gist, the reality is that these translations are not very accurate when it comes to court documents, detailed medical reports and advertising copies, to list a few examples. Therefore, the outlook remains very positive for those wishing to pursue a career as a translator or interpreter. According to the latest research, by 2018 employment in this field is expected to increase by 22 per cent.
Success not lost in translation

Gauri Chhabra

Need for businesses to expand their wings in multiple countries is an offshoot of globalisation. This has led to the creation of a flat world where people need to cross barriers and have transactions with their counterparts across nations. To do that we require translators who have fluency in multiple languages. Translation can be a rewarding career, either as a full-time vocation or as a supplement to your writing jobs.

As a translator, your main role is to translate texts from one language to the desired language without any difference in its interpretation for the reader. Translators who are able to impress their readers with simplicity and retain originality of the text are considered successful.

Machine challenge

However, translators in the 21st century find themselves in a difficult position. While there is a steadily growing demand for translation as a result of increasing global trade and communication generally, it is hard for a professional translator to meet this demand. Machine translation is also catching up fast. So, translators need to add that extra potion of value to  catch up with machine translation with respect to speed.

Getting in

Today youngsters are opting to learn Spanish, French, German and Italian, to name some of the popular languages, for full-time careers. Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Russian, are some other popular languages for those looking for a career in this field.  

In order to establish yourself as a translator you should have fluency and command over at least two languages and have a flair for writing.  To get admission in good university and colleges, graduation is a must.  For good translation, one has to get into the soul of the content. It is also recommended to see the translation work of seniors and experts.

There are forking pathways  to learn foreign languages. Whereas several students start learning a foreign language in their school, numerous others opt the course after Plus II and go for graduation courses that are offered by various institutes, colleges and universities. 

In order to pursue a bachelor’s degree in any foreign language, you should have cleared the higher secondary school certificate or Plus II from a recognised board. The duration of the bachelor’s course is mostly three years.

You may step into a master’s degree in the  relevant stream. Usually the duration of the course is two years. You can also go in for a PhD.

Those interested in higher education in foreign languages can opt for post-graduation and PhD being offered at select universities in India.

After completing a diploma or degree course, you can start of as a junior translator or can go for the higher studies in the respective languages provided by various universities/institutions. Like for Japanese, there is a language proficiency test conducted by Mombusho Scholars Association and Alliance Francaise is the centre for conducting various teste in French like the TEF (required by Canadian High Commission), the TCF, DELF/DALF test and diploma delivered by the French Ministry of Education.

Skill set

To get into this profession, you should possess fairly good knowledge of the language and have good research and communication skills. In case of a foreign language, it is an added advantage if you know about the history, economy and the political system of that nation. Besides, it is also necessary to have public-speaking skills, analytical skills and be computer savvy.

Career scapeAuthor

If your love for imagination and writing is as strong as your love of languages then you could consider being an author/writer/novelist. And the best part is that to be an author you need not wait to finish a certain degree/diploma etc. You can just let your imagination run wild (or your research skills if you prefer non-fiction) and begin writing your book anytime. In fact you can even write your book while pursuing another career. Obviously a degree and exposure to other people's works will have a great impact but there is no start date to when you can begin writing!

Speech writing

Speech writing is an unconventional career option that you could consider if you are inclined. You may find place in political parties where it is very important to make the right impression on the public.


If you can spot a spelling/punctuation/grammatical error easily, proofreading is probably the option for you. Similar to content writing you can begin freelance proofreading and editing assignments while pursuing an undergraduate course itself. If you are good proofreading assignments pay well.

So, get ready for the most promising careers of today and tomorrow...

Course cursor

After Plus II

  • Bachelor of Arts (Translation and Interpretation)
  • Bachelor’s in Journalism & Media
  • BS Communication
  • BA Honors (Interpreting and Translation BA Honours).
  • Bachelor of Language and Linguistics
Institute Watch

  • Max Mueller Bhavan for German, New Delhi
  • Alliance Francaise for French
  • Calcutta University (CU) Arabic, Persian and French
  • Jadavpur University (JU)
  • The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture- Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish
  • The Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad- German, Roman, Russian,
  • Delhi University- Arabic, French, German, Hispanic, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Russian,
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)- Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
  • English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad
  • Foreign colleges/ institute
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona provides BA Honors.
  • Middlesex University, London
  • Western Sydney University, Sydney
  • Singapore University of Social Science, Singapore.
After graduation

  • M.A (Translation and Interpretation)
  • MRes in Translating Cultures
  • M.A. Translation
  • Interpreting MA
  • MSc (Interpreting and Translating)
  • Master’s in Innovative Technologies in Translation: Italian
  • Research Literary Translation, M.A. 
  • M.A. Linguistics
  • Colleges in India
  • Cochin University of Science and Technology
  • Dravidian University, Andhra Pradesh
  • Gujarat Vidyapith, Gujarat
  • Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla
  • Foreign colleges/ institutes
  • University of Westminster, London offers MA in Interpretation and Translator
  • The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • London Metropolitan University, UK
  • University of Surrey, UK
  • School of Management and Languages, Edinburgh, UK

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Translation (PGDT)
  • Diploma in Translation
  • Diploma in Professional Translation (French to English)
  • Institute Watch
  • Gujarat University, Ahmedabad
  • Saga Institute of Management Studies - SIMS, Malappuram
  • Bhagat Pool Singh Mahila Vishwavidalaya- BPSMV, Sonepat


All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On