I have been translating for years now. I started in my different assistant and executive assistant jobs in offices, offering excellent translation services that cost them no more than my hourly salary (which at least in the beginning, was not very high!). At the time, I did not realize how much money they were saving, and how valuable my particular skill really was. I was a bit of a fool.
I have always loved languages, and working with words. Apparently, I also had a gift for translating accurately, quickly, efficiently and with style.
I felt like I was wasting my time in an office setting and eventually turned my skill into my own business.
Since then, I have never lacked work or projects, despite not having a specific degree in translation. I certainly don’t think that translation degrees are useless, far from it! I just believe that some people have the talent or the skill and, with hard work, research, reading, on the job experience and regular training to perfect their skills, these “natural” translators can become as efficient as the ones who have studied to get there.
Since I started my business, only one client asked if I had credentials or if I was part of an official translators association, and seemed to attach some importance to this on a bureaucratic level. On several occasions, I have corrected and improved translations that were done by professionals, but just didn’t quite “sound” right.
I looked in to the process to become certified by a specific association. I have the support letters, more than enough translated words, I’ve stated putting together a portfolio. I’m not saying that I have given up on this project, but when I look at the amount of money that they require just to remain a member, to be paid every year, I can’t help but wonder where this desire to seek certification truly comes from? Is it a necessary step, or is it fundamentally rooted in fear?
I have a University education and years of experience. I am currently part of three Virtual Assistant associations and one independent worker’s association in linguistic services.
I’d rather be confident in my talent and my services than think that I need this certification to be “better”.
I’d rather be open to new projects, completely sure of my capabilities and of my work.
My talent and my work speak for themselves. My clients are satisfied and happy with my services. Perhaps when I have the extra money and the time, I will pursue this project. But I know that I don’t absolutely need it, and that it won’t make me any better than I already am.