Skip to main content

The other day I received an email from el Club de los Grandes Traductores (the Club of Great Translators) a Spanish club that trains translators in the English>Spanish language combination.

Their emails normally advertise new courses or resources but this time they shared an analogy which I think is worth sharing with everyone.

Here is the English version:

In the Club of Great Translators we work with a roadmap, that we think must be followed to be successful in the profession. 

Tuaregs: those who are starting out in the profession, because they are crossing the desert of the first years;

Alpinists: those who have crossed the desert face a period full of ups and downs. Lots of ups and downs (related to work); and

Farmers: those who have overcome the mountains usually have a small or medium farm (read, client portfolio) that they must take care of and renew continuously.”

I see this analogy as a reflection of my own journey from interpreter to translator and then to interpreter trainer. There was definitively a high demand for my language, and still I had to be the one finding my clients.

We might take years to grow but we need to be humble and realise we will never know everything. Both interpreters and translators must enter this profession knowing that a Diploma, that important piece of paper, will only be the beginning of a life-long journey of learning, research and discovery.

The sooner we embody this role, the quicker our farm starts to take shape and we will start to reap what we sowed. It may take 2 years (minimum) to see results and those years of getting lost in the desert and tired of climbing seemingly for nothing will reveal a valley of possibilities.

Cherish the first two steps of the long way by acquiring more knowledge through CPD and networking, by taking care of yourself (not stressing too much, taking holidays or days off). The sun will shine eventually and you will soon forget all the hurdles.

If your language combination is English to Spanish and you work mostly in Europe or South America and you want to know more about their Introduction to Professional Translation (Certificado en Introducción a la Traducción Profesional) click here.

If you speak Spanish or any another language and you are in the UK, join our Foundation Course in Translation. You will learn about translation theory and techniques alongside ample translation practice where you’ll receive feedback directly from a language tutor.

Ready to become a Tuareg?

I look forward to helping you start your journey to become a professional translator.


Helena El Masri

Founder of DPSI Online