Are you thinking of becoming a translator? Or perhaps you just want to improve that second language of yours. Here are seven good reasons for giving translation a try!!
1. Improve your Japanese....or French or German or whatever language is your second/third language
After I decided that I wanted to become a translator I thought the first thing that I needed to do was pass the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. So I studied really hard for about 10 months (I had already passed level 2) and managed to score a pass, after which I assumed that I was now pretty well qualified to work as a translator. But after I actually started doing translation work I realized that the majority of the things I studied for that test were completely irrelevant when it came to real translation work.
When you translate real stories, real documents with real deadlines, then you are forced to improve your understanding of that foreign language, far beyond what is covered in language text books. Even if you are doing it for fun (without deadlines), you'll see a big improvement to your foreign language ability. BIG!! As a translator, studying and improving your language skills becomes part of your job, so if you want to keep working in translation then you have to improve. And you do.