speak chinese like a native

Non-native Translators?

Posted by GreyPhoenix January 9, 2009 in the Group General Discussion .

Tags: translators, jobs

My husband is in the process of becoming a Mandarin/English translator here in the US. Having worked with Chinese here for a few years, I really appreciate and admire those who dedicate themselves to translating to help others in need. My husband (a Malaysian Chinese who grew up speaking English and Mandarin) posed an interesting question to me: Do you think a non-native speaker could ever become fluent enough in a second language to become a translator? Da Shan-types aside, what are the chances someone who didn't start learning Chinese until age 22 could someday be fluent enough to translate professionally?


What do you think? Does anyone have experience actually doing paid translation for a language learned as an adult? Can I set my goals that high, or should I stick with teaching ESL? Any input is appreciated!

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