Translation is a field of work that covers almost all ranges of concentration. When someone says that they are a translator, it doesn’t mean that they can translate anything in all the languages they know. There are many limitations that make it impossible for someone to translate every text or content instantly and automatically. Due to the unlimited scope of work, specialization in translation is required.
The known history of translation started with a narrower area that concentrated only on religious texts, scriptures, and literary works. With the development of knowledge, people now need everything translated into different languages. The demand for translation specialists will continue to rise despite competition from AI which offers faster processes.
While AI-based machine translations are still unable to work autonomously on texts that are rich in context and contain complex wordplay, the need for human translators who specialize in a field will remain relevant for the foreseeable future, or at least until AI has fully developed to resemble or exceed human capabilities.
Why do our industries need Translation Specialists?
Translation encompasses a wide range of complexities from different service areas and industries. Law, legal, medical, technical, marketing, and business fields are just some of the many that exist. Each field has specialized terms and jargon that may also have different interpretations according to contextual variables.
Compared to general translation, specialization can provide a better quality that shows accurate meaning and proper wording. Therefore, considering specialization in translation will be more beneficial for both the translator and the client.
In addition, specialized content has a different level of difficulty than content in other fields. Medical and technical translation, for example, are two fields that require in-depth understanding of the concepts and specialized knowledge that should be managed by certain people who are familiar with specialized terms that are not understood by ordinary people. It also requires a different approach that prioritizes accuracy over adaptation, which can lead to changes in meaning.
On the other hand, marketing translation and all kinds of localization are other fields in translation that require adaptation in order to achieve the desired target. Different cultures often have different ways of seeing things, so marketing translation demands a lot of creativity to re-create copywriting that can sell more than using the original version. Content adaptation will often change a large part of the content to give the product copy more credence in the target market.
How to choose the right specialization in translation?
Considering the difficulty of training neural machine translators to meet the standard requirements of instantly publishable translations, having this specialization is still promising.
With the ever-increasing demand for specialized translators and editors these days, there are still plenty of opportunities to collect more income even though many people think that this sector will no longer be needed in the near future. There’s no need to worry about the opportunities and move forward to take advantage of them while they last.
There are two general points to consider before taking a specialization-focused translation course. Subjective considerations are about passion and interests, while objective considerations are about market demand and competition.
It’s no secret that passion and interest help one achieve more in their career. It is very human to be passionate about what one wants to do, while others may not want to do it for several reasons. Therefore, taking passion and interest into consideration is very important to ensure that the specialization taken is what one really wants so that it does not cause regret later on.
In addition, specializing in translation requires a strong understanding of their field of interest. These subjective considerations will allow the translator to enjoy the process of achieving the specialist field as a whole and love the work they are about to undertake.
Although interest alone is not convincing enough, conducting market research to find out what areas of translation are in high demand in the market will provide certainty in choosing a translation specialization. There are some fields that always have a high demand for translation specialists such as legal translators and business translators. However, high numbers do not necessarily mean high opportunities as there are definitely more like-minded people.
In the translation industry, there are so many sub-specializations that offer enough room to keep afloat in this job. For example, you could specialize in alternative medicine or traditional therapies that fall under the medical field. This field seems very small, but you have a higher chance of winning projects related to the field when you have shown to have a proven ability.