Translation and interpreting

These specialist language occupations offer the opportunity to use your language skills as a central feature of the work. Both are expected to have a high level understanding of the languages they work with and be able to understand and express subtle nuances.

  • Translation work Deals with the written word and can cover many areas, such as official documents, law, publishing, marketing, software, websites and others.
  • The Lingo 24 careers guide Looks in more detail at these specialist translation fields.
  • Interpreting Focuses on verbal communication and takes place in many different settings, for example in a court of law, at a business meeting, a teleconference, at large conventions or summits, or for international aid or development organisations.

Translators and interpreters can work in a range of different settings and types of organisation. Whilst there are some in-house full time positions available (working directly for a company/organisation), the majority of work in these areas is freelance. Developing a successful freelance career requires you to be comfortable with working for yourself, finding new work on an ongoing basis and proactively networking.

It is possible to work as a translator and/or interpreter without a postgraduate qualification, by developing skills through experience. However, you will find it’s a competitive market, and therefore a master’s qualification is a minimum requirement for many roles, and will help demonstrate your competence to potential clients and employers. This is especially true for interpreting.

Useful Links

Professional body websites are invaluable for finding out the latest sector trends and news, and vacancies. Some of the bodies offer a student/affiliate membership for individuals starting their career which offer a range of benefits such as building your network, online forums, webinars and training. Joining can also show potential employers your commitment to developing in the field.

If you are interested in the government and public sector you may wish to explore