Is fashion translation your pair of shoes?

When I think of a newbie translator, the prince from “Cinderella” comes to my mind with his disorganized attempts to find the owner of the glass slippers. With so many areas of specialization to choose from, how can you make sure you’ve found the right one, your ideal pair of shoes?

First of all, you have to be aware of your strong and weak points. If you know your ship from A to Z, you have a higher chance to navigate it safely to the target port, on the condition that you know where it is.

At first, fashion translation may look all the same.

  • What are your working on?
  • Fashion text.
  • Ah, I see.

Yet, this “fashion text” hides many nuances and subcategories, all to be discovered by a newbie translator. In order to avoid bad surprises and costly mistakes, let’s see what kind of texts you might come across, and if they fit your style and knowledge.

The main aspects to consider before taking on a project are your style, terminology, general and specific fashion knowledge.

If your language skills and style are the envy of some experienced fashion writers and bloggers, and your 360° knowledge is enough to publish a 10-volume Fashion Bible, then press releases and fashion magazine articles might be the right choice for you. You’ll definitely feel at ease playing with words. And if you prefer working at your own pace, without EOB-deadlines and pressure, the best solution could be translating fashion books published by specialized houses.

If your style goes from good to excellent, you are a terminology expert and can describe an item on the go by simply looking at it or its photo, then product descriptions are your piece of bread. And if you manage to get a good client base – it’ll get even better.

If you belong to the Y-generation, convinced that briefness is your key to success, then you might be interested in translating banners and newsletters frequently requested by Maison and e-commerce titans. Being precise and concise is difficult. If you can express any idea with just a few words, your work will be highly appreciated by your potential clients. Add Google AdWords exam or some useful SEO courses to your portfolio, and it’s a done deal!

At last, there’s the localization universe where some specific knowledge and skills are required. Shoot for the stars in this paradise for web-guru and masters of words if you are ready to offer a full package of services to your ideal client.

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