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I know the primary secondary job taken by interpreters is translation. But a few posts/videos I've seen recently delivered conflicting message on this practice. On one hand, there's this article written by Julia M. Böhm saying translation as a secondary job is not a very good idea:

Quite frequently we are told: "but you can also translate". However, from our time budget, the time that we spend on general work is not available for translation. Because if we also do translations, the time that we need to spend on learning, knowledge management, canvassing, administration etc. does not diminish. The opposite is probably true, since we are likely to need some extra input to keep ourselves up to scratch as professional translators, too.

On the another hand, in this related post, some seniors said that translation and interpreting is mutually beneficial and therefore a good idea.

And it seems to me that interpreting+translation is highly feasible (and maybe even more lucrative), at least that's what interpreters I met online or in real life testified for. But maybe it has to be translation then interpreting, instead of the other way around.

What's your opinion?

asked 20 Feb '16, 01:14

EliChang's gravatar image


What Julia Böhm is saying is that you shouldn't settle for a low rate, but think of all the work you do outside the booth the whole year long, just to be able to perform at the expected level the day when you actually are in the booth. And that during those days, you need to stick to your preparation pattern - which needs to be financed by your CI income, not translation jobs.

It doesn't keep you from working as a translator (or really anything else that pays bills), provided there are enough days in one year for you to do both activities properly. And at the beginning, you'll probably have no other choice than to accept translations jobs, transcription jobs, etc. - just make sure you're qualified and that it's worth your while.

The Julia Böhm scenario of not being able to do two things properly won't kick in unless you take a full time day job or have more than a 100 days of CI work per year.

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answered 20 Feb '16, 05:54

Gaspar's gravatar image

Gaspar ♦♦

edited 20 Feb '16, 06:40

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question asked: 20 Feb '16, 01:14

question was seen: 2,739 times

last updated: 20 Feb '16, 06:40 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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