I am a Vietnamese translator and I started my career as a translator in 1999. At first, I translated foreign news from international newspapers and published in local newspapers. At that time, Internet was not common in Vietnam. I often went to bookshops to buy old foreign newspapers such as Time and Newsweek and translated hot news into Vietnamese. I really loved Newsweek magazine. Royalties from these translated articles encouraged me to translate more and more. In average, I would publish one article every two days. Translation services became my second job. I would translate when I got home from my full-time job and on the weekends.
After 2 years, I moved to translate books for various publishing houses in Vietnam. Whenever they needed a book to be translated into Vietnamese, they would sign a contract with me. My first translated book was Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, written by Jared Diamond, in which Diamond reviews the causes of historical and pre-historical instances of societal collapse — particularly those involving significant influences from environmental changes, the effects of climate change, hostile neighbors, and trade partners — and considers the responses different societies have had to such threats. I was very excited to translate the first book, therefore I spent all free time to it. Every day I started in the early morning until leaving for full-time job, and returned to work after dinner until midnight. I completed this 592-page book in just 6 months. The book had been received well by Vietnamese readers and luckily, there was no complaint about quality of the translation. This is one of the best successes in my life. So far, I have translated a dozen of books, most of them were children scientific books. I feel happy whenever my children open the book and yell “Is this your translated book, father?”
When the Internet became popular in Vietnam, my work load increased. I found a huge translation market on the Internet and this became a good opportunity for me. I started translating various documents for Vietnamese American people for a low rate, so I could get experiences and learn how to work with people from other countries. The internet opportunity was the right move for me. Now I have many great clients from different countries and translation work has provided my family with a good living. I love translation work because it helps me to understand foreigners as well as giving me opportunities to visit other countries. My working principle is Good Quality, Polite and Fast Communication, Patient and Work until the client is happy. In my next article, I would love to share with you how I work.