Download the app to find the best colleges for you
Download now
Career as Translator

Last Updated By Harleen Kaur on 05 Sep, 2022

How to Become a Translator

About Translator

A Translator or Interpreter is a person who converts information from one language to another. Translators, though, have a new career, but in the current scenario of globalization with the Indian economy full of opportunities, multinationals coming to the Indian subcontinent and more and more companies are going abroad for joint ventures. The main work of these professionals is to translate the texts from one language to the desired language without having a rectangle of difference in its interpretation from the original text. The translator should be able to convert the text accurately and quickly in the desired language. In such a scenario, the job of a translator is increasingly seen as a career option by many. There is no dearth of economic opportunities for those applicants who want to take up translator as a full-time profession. In short, the main goal of a translator is to read the translations as if it were the original written content. To do this, the translator should be able to maintain the structure and style of the original text while keeping in mind the ideas and facts of the original material accurate.

Individuals who work as translators must properly transmit cultural references, such as slang and other gestures that do not translate literally. Knowledge of both spoken and written language is essential for understanding each other and knowing what the other person is saying and writing. Translators understand the importance of maintaining linguistic clarity as well as cultural impact by including important references such as swearing and other terminology. Translators must translate the text from one particular language to another. They rely on advanced writing and translation skills to make sure that the translated text is the same as the original in terms of context and flow. Jobs in translating are rapidly expanding.Those who wish to pursue a career as a translator must first complete a foreign language course in the language in which they wish to excel. To become a translator, students can study Russian, Spanish, or Japanese. 

Increased linguistic competency has become increasingly important in today's globalized world. People from different countries and speaking different languages come together for various conversations and events in both business and political contexts. The majority of translation assignments are received and submitted electronically in India, where nearly all translation work is completed on computers. Before becoming final, translators in India frequently go through several revisions. To become a translator, students can study Italian, German, or French.

Roles and Responsibilities of Translators

People who choose to work as translators translate ideas from the source language into their equivalents in the target language. People in the translation industry in India are fluent in at least two languages, including English and one or more others, and can speak, read, and write them well. The tone and style of the original text are translated. Through the translation of information from one language into another, those who work as translators in India improve communication. The translator's task is to get the target audience to read the translation as though it were the original. To achieve that, a translator must really be able to accurately convey the ideas and information from the original source while writing sentences that flow just like the original. Certain cultural references, including slang and perhaps other expressions that do not translate actually, must be taken into account by people who choose to pursue careers as translators. This article will discuss how to become a certified translator in India as well as the monthly salary for translator jobs in India and the salary of a french translator in India.

The following are a few of the roles and duties that translators have:

  • Pronunciation

People who choose to work as translators read or listen to material in one language to make sure they understand its context and meaning before translating it into another language while keeping the original meaning intact. Language proficiency is essential because their job is to translate the content while maintaining the meaning rather than to translate it word-for-word

  • Multitasking

People who choose to work as translators often have to translate online content, videos at times, and even television media by adding subtitles or occasionally by giving the dubbing artist a script

  • Consult with experts by contacting them

People who choose to work as translators consult other professionals or subject matter experts when in doubt in order to comprehend specialised concepts and translate the content correctly

  • Using online resources

Current market conditions have led to the availability of many online tools. People who decide to pursue a career as translators can use the online translation tools to obtain additional assistance with the task at hand

  • Task involving clients

A translator's duties include giving clients quotes based on the size of the project and the degree of difficulty of the content translation process

  • Make sure clients are satisfied

When the work on a particular project is finished, the translator follows up with the clients to make sure they are happy with the results and that they can understand the translated content. This is done to encourage client satisfaction, and if the client is dissatisfied with the work completed, corrective measures are taken

  • Using the software

People who choose to pursue careers as translators work on significant projects like translating a book or a film. It will take a long time to translate them word by word if one does so. To promote efficiency and consistency in the translated content, translators use highly specialised translation software

  • Ethical and statutory obligations

A translator must uphold the various industry quality standards set forth by the Association of Translation Companies in order to perform their job effectively. To ensure that all completed work complies with legal and ethical obligations, it is crucial to take this step

  • Translation

A translator's primary responsibility is to translate a wide range of texts, including books, legal documents, research papers, technical manuals, scientific articles, educational materials, and commercial materials, so that the general public can access them

Eligibility to become Translator

Those who adopt translator as a profession, have to go for a diploma or degree course in the desired language after the 12th, various universities /institutions offering these courses. Candidates may have to fulfill certain conditions or may have to take an entrance test to take admission in some prestigious institutions of the desired language.

Subject Combination - There is no specific subject combination required in Class 12 to become a translator. They should possess fairly good knowledge of the desired language.

One has to follow the below-given steps to become a Translator:

There are 3 types of courses to pursue a career as a translator:

  • Certificate course
  • Degree course
  • Diploma course

For a certificate or degree in the desired language, class 12 is the minimum requirement.

The eligibility for the diploma course is a certificate course in the desired language


Some institutions/universities, such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, require a candidate on the basis of entrance exam which they will be selected for the BA, MA and M. Phil courses in the desired language.

There are some popular languages, nowadays, applicants can mostly pick up, for that you have to take entrance exams such as

  • For French, a language proficiency test organised by Alliance Françoise such as TEF (short for Test of Evaluation of French) awarded by the CCIP (Chambre de Commerce et d`Industrie de Paris), TCF (short for Test de Connaissance du Français) and TEF (short for Test d'Evaluation du Français). DELF /DALF tests and diploma delivered by the French Ministry of Education.
  • For German, Max Mueller Bhawan organises classes to teach German as does Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, New Delhi.


Steps to become a Translator

Candidates can take the steps listed below to become translators:

Step 1: Completion of 10+2

Students must understand exactly how to become translators. Here, we'll outline a number of steps for learning how to become a translator. A minimum cumulative score of 50% is required for 10+2 graduation in any subject, including science, commerce, humanities, and social sciences, in order to qualify as a translator.

Step 2: Entrance Exam

Candidates must obtain a minimum cumulative grade of 40% to 50% in physics, chemistry, and biology in class 10+2 from a recognised board. Each institute has a different entrance exam. Some institutions might only take into account students' 10+2 grades, while others might hold entrance tests. Here are some crucial actions you should take to learn how to become a translator.

Common Entrance Examination






Step 3: Taking a bachelor's degree

After completing a 10+2 level of schooling with an overall grade of 50% or higher, students must apply for admission to a bachelor level programme in the related specialisation.

Common bachelor’s programmes:

Bachelor of Arts in Transition and Interpretation

BA (Bachelor of Arts) French Honours

BA (Bachelor of Arts) German Honours

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Italian Honours

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Japanese Honours

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Spanish Honours

BA (Bachelor of Arts) English

BA (Bachelor of Arts) Hindi

Bachelor of Journalism



Step 4: Pursuing Post Graduation

Students can choose from a variety of career paths after earning a bachelor's degree. The two well-liked options that will make it simple for you to launch your desired career are listed below.

Option 1: Without taking a break in the academic year, candidates who have completed a bachelor's degree programme may continue on to an MA degree programme. They can begin working in the sector in an entry-level position after completing a master's degree programme in the relevant specialisation.

Option 2: The candidates may begin employment in the industry in an entry-level position following successful completion of a bachelor's degree programme. He or she can further choose to enroll in a master's degree programme after gaining experience through one or two years of employment in the industry.

Common Master’s degrees 

Postgraduate Diploma in Translation

MA (Master of Arts) in Linguistics

MA (Master of Arts) English

MA (Master of Arts) Hindi

MA in Journalism and Mass Communication

MA (Master of Arts) French Honours

MA (Master of Arts) Spanish Honours

MA (Master of Arts) Russian Honours 

MA (Master of Arts) Italian Honours 

MA (Master of Arts) German Honours

Types of Job Roles Translator

After obtaining the necessary skills and training, translators may be fit in different roles and positions that match their skills. Translators are required for diverse jobs. The different roles that translators can take up are listed below.

Health or Medical Translators and Interpreters: They usually work in health care settings and help patients communicate with doctors, nurses, technicians, and other medical employees. Translators must have knowledge of medical terminology in both languages.

Legal or Judicial Translators and Interpreters: They usually work in courts and other legal settings. In hearings, recording statements, depositions, and trials, they assist those people who have limited English proficiency. They must have a strong understanding of legal terminology.

Literary Translators: They are responsible for converting the books, poetry, short stories and journal articles from one language into the desired language. Whenever possible, literary translators work together with the intention of original publication, as well as authors to capture literary and cultural features.

Sign Language Translators/ Interpreters: They facilitate communication among those who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear.

Conference Interpreters/ Translators: They work at conferences that have non-English-speaking audience. They usually work in international business conferences or diplomacy, for example, they translate Spanish language to French and then into English etc.


Employment Opportunities for Translators

Translators have a good scope to get employment opportunities in the government and private sector. Many indulge in freelancing also. After attaining required skills and qualification, one can get employment in the following organisations. The list of employment opportunities for different areas given below, which can be opted by the candidates, include:

  • Software Developing Companies
  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Technical, Scientific Literary or Business
  • Educational Services:- State, Local, and Private
  • Hospitals:- State, Local, and Private
  • Travel and Tourism sector
  • Hotel Industry
  • Exhibitions and Fairs
  • Airline Offices
  • Export Agencies
  • Radio Stations
  • Trade Organisations
  • Publishing Houses
  • Research Organisations
  • Courtrooms
  • International Organisations
  • Embassies
  • Teaching


Top Recruiting Companies /Organisations for Translators

Many companies/organisations like the ones listed below are employing language experts:

  • Oracle
  • LG
  • Samsung
  • GE
  • Hyundai
  • HP
  • Aventis
  • Moulinex
  • Thomson
  • UNO
  • FAO
  • Reserve Bank of India
  • Publishing Houses


Skills Required to become a Translator

The first thing someone should understand about how to become a translator is the qualifications needed to do so. Below are some of the fundamental skills needed for a career as a translator in India. 

  • Business Experience: The ability to combine experience, knowledge, and insight to make wise business decisions is known as having business skills. You can develop new products and take a balanced, long-term view of the company's goals by developing this skill. To successfully manage their finances and careers, independent interpreters and translators need a general understanding of business principles. To increase their clientele, people who work as interpreters and translators must set their rates, bill clients, maintain records, and advertise their services
  • Strong Concentration: The success and fulfilment of a career depend on the ability to concentrate or focus. Translators of other languages are sufficiently focused on the present and their current responsibilities. Because of this behaviour, people engage in activities fully, carry them out competently, and respond more effectively to challenging circumstances in life. Those who choose to work as translators must be able to focus while other people are speaking or moving around
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Employees who are more aware of other people's cultures at work are more productive, have fewer interpersonal conflicts, and are more fully integrated into the translation industry. The workers are able to defend one another and their stakeholders thanks to this recognition. People who work as interpreters and translators need to be aware of the cultural norms and expectations of the people they are attempting to communicate with. Understanding different languages' words as well as peoples' cultures is essential for successful interpreting and translating
  • Precision: Developing a skilled and adaptable workforce is essential for the success of information technology initiatives. It enables businesses to adapt to the introduction of cutting-edge technology, rising consumer preferences, and modifications in the industry. Sign language interpreters must be able to move their hands, fingers, and arms quickly and precisely while communicating
  • Interpersonal Management: Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with coworkers or clients through interpersonal management helps teams become more productive and organised. To keep clients and draw in new ones, people who choose to pursue careers as translators, especially those who work for themselves, must get along with those who hire or use their services
  • Communication Abilities: Effective listeners can fully comprehend and make sense of what others are saying. It is more efficient and effective for translators to have effective communication skills. The ability to listen effectively helps the employees comprehend their tasks. People who choose to pursue careers as translators must pay close attention to what they hear and interpret when interpreting for audiences. Even translators and interpreters need to speak clearly in each language they work in. Foreign language translators will perform better in their careers as translators the better they can speak and listen to other languages
  • Writing Abilities: Translators need to be fluent readers in all of the languages they work with. People who work as interpreters and translators need to be able to write effectively in each of the languages they use. Extremely good writing skills are a must for translators. The ability to correctly read a text is absolutely necessary for the translator's job. A translator must have a thorough understanding of the script, including the vocabulary and the cultural connotations of all the words

Planning to choose Translator as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Translator

Translators can expect to get anything between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 as far as a starting salary is concerned. After receiving some on the job experience, one can earn as good as Rs. 25,000 per month and more. If someone goes for his own business, then he can get anywhere near Rs. 50,000 per assignment. Although it depends upon the assignment and the importance of it for which it has been taken up.

  • Professors may get Rs. 18000 per month
  • Lecturers Rs. 10000 – Rs. 13000 per month
  • Translator salary is Rs. 50 – Rs. 100 by the page
  • Interpreters salary is Rs. 300 – Rs. 500 by the hour
  • Embassy workers can expect Rs. 8000 – Rs. 10000 per month


Career Path for Translators

You have already chosen wisely if you want to work as a translator. The employment opportunities for someone who is both a translator and an interpreter are marginally greater than for just one of those roles. A diploma or degree in translation will, in any case, open up a wide range of employment possibilities for you as a full-time employee or as a freelancer. In both large and small businesses, translators can find work, and they can also join the Translation Department of a specific office. 

India does have a number of multinational corporations, and the constant need to stay current with market trends on a global scale necessitates the use of translators or interpreters who can effectively transmit the necessary database or message. In the same way, the Indian government strives to keep up with the world economy. As a result, during global summits and conferences, the role of a translator is crucial.

Books & Study Material to Become Translator

Here's a list of some of the top books to increase your skills and knowledge in the translator field:

  • How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator by Corinne McKay
  • The Entrepreneurial Linguist by Judy and Dagmar Jenner
  • Is That a Fish in Your Ear? by David Bellos
  • Translation as a Profession by Roger Chriss
  • The Translator’s Handbook by Morry Sofer
  • Mox’s Illustrated Guide to Freelance Translation

Apart from the books mentioned above, there are several common books for a translator.


Pros of becoming a Translator

  • This job is quite exciting, it has its own set of advantages such as value for money, different payment in different cases, etc.
  • The translator get an instant promotion instead of any other post.
  • Larger opportunity to communicate with a variety of people.
  • By becoming a translator, you are keeping yourself a step ahead of everyone else in getting to know something different and new.

Cons of becoming a Translator

  • Self-employed translators often have variable work schedules, which may include periods of limited work and periods of long, irregular hours.
  • Expect to face tight deadlines.
  • It may happen that your work can make you feel lonely.
  • Translator jobs can be stressful in real-time because you have to keep up with the speaker

Do you think this is the right career choice for you?

Take our test and find out if it suits your strengths.


Confused on what to choose as your career?