Chinese translation/tech writing

Subject: Chinese translation/tech writing
From: siliconwriter -at- comcast -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 20:58:25 +0000

Fellow tech writers:

I've been considering a career move for some time. I studied Mandarin in college and would love to work on becoming a translator for technical documentation. I'm sure there are plenty of writers on this list who do just that, and I have some questions:

* do you need a particular degree or certificate to work in this field? (I have a college degree w/coursework in Mandarin, but it's not my major)

* would it work against me that I'm a non-native speaker?

* what kind of projects do you typically work on?

* who are the major employers in this field? (big companies, R&D, government?)

* do you work in Asia or elsewhere? Does it really matter where you work?

I'm not crazy about the idea of going back to school for a full degree, but I'll do it if I have to. If I can get by with extensive coursework and practice in the language, with an emphasis on technical communication (how do you write "CAT scan" in Chinese?), I'd prefer that. Is that feasible?

Many thanks for all your help. If you prefer to reply offline, that's fine, too.

Sarah Stegall


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