Which specialization are you?
A lot of time ago, when I was a young and fresh translator, an agency contacted me for a project. It was about a subtitling project from English to Italian and rate was very high. I had never dealt with something like that, but I tought that should be quite easy, I mean, they were only dialogues!
As I approached it, after some lines, I started to think it was quite boring; don’t misunderstand me please, I am trying to explain that it was quite strange for me, I didn’t feel happy, curious and excited as usual, moreover I felt very confused when I found out that I had to synchronize lines with the video (that was an episode of a TV serial, and the agency told me that other episodes were waiting for me, so I was totally in panic at a certain point). Result: I completly failed that project, feeling disappointed and thinking that the whole world would never ask me again to complete a translation project (but in the end, it didn’t happen :)).
Of course the agency rejected my few lines and they never called me anymore. And if I am here today telling you this, is for some important reasons, so, sit down, relax and listen to me.
In that case, it was my “fault”, because I was quite inexperienced as a translator, and I didn’t know or imagine how important is create your own specialization in this industry. On the other end, the agency never looked for translators with subtitling specialization, so they behaved as inexperienced people as well. Anyway, it doesn’t care now, learning from our mistakes is what matter most. And just after this thing I asked myself “you don’t clearly like subtitling, but you gained a bit of experience in translation, what would you like to translate? What “thrills” you most? Business? Fashion? Marketing?”. So I didn’t become a gaming translator by chance! Yes, gaming! Videogames! I love them with all my heart since day 1! My elder brother bought our first console in 1990, I was 6 years old and I still remember that day, I was truly fascinating by that world! And as years went on, I have become an expert gamer. I have started to send my CV to many customers and agencies that are involved in gaming sector, and finally they send me a test and I successfully passed it. Then my first project in gaming sector arrived, but this time I wasn’t alone; a brilliant pm helped me with glossary, style and a brief training in the sector, which was very useful. But in some way, I was already “ready” since I have always been reading gaming magazines, surfing gaming websites and things like that. So let me say, some sectors will help you paying your bills, but a professional translator should choose and follow a specialization, that it’s something he/she loves very much. And yes, that’s also because this is your job, your career, you should never be bored or loosing your enthusiasm while translating!