Gone are the days, when children would adopt their parent’s profession. A doctor’s son would adopt medicine as his profession, or a fashionista’s kids would choose a career in fashion. Today’s generation is exploring different career avenues. They believe in following their dreams even if it means taking a road less travelled. Today’s generation is seeking jobs that are more fulfilling than just end up with jobs that just help in paying one’s translators are often asked whether they would want their kids to become freelance translators. To be honest, it is quite a difficult question to answer. Our kids will be growing in different environment compared to us. They will have different upbringing, different school of thought, different needs and different choices. One cannot simply ask their kids to follow the same career path that he or she has travelled. For example, owner of a translation agency would love his or her kids to take over the reins of business; however that may depend on the kid’s preference.
There is no doubt that freelance translators are their own bosses. They choose the kind of projects they want to work on; they choose their working hours and working conditions. One cannot, however deny the fact that freelance translation does not guarantee steady income. Some time independent translators may feast but there may be times when the do not have any projects. It is difficult to answer if any parent would want this kind of uncertainty in their children’s life. On the other hand, if freelance translators adopt proper business strategies they can earn decent amount of money.
The best thing is to let the kids decide their own career paths. Some parents may want kids to choose a hybrid between careers. A friend of mine who is an automobile engineer recently learned few foreign languages and now he takes projects on automotive translation as a part time job. It would be nice to see our kids treading the same career paths; however it is again a matter of choice and passion.
Translation is not just like any other job. It is a combination of art and science. A translator needs to be a linguistic and at the same time he needs to know how to manage the project effectively. Independent translators face more challenges than full time professionals and it is an adventure to overcome those challenges and surge ahead in life.