Challenges of Translation: To Specialize or To Generalize

Once one has become a translator and acquired some experience with working in the document translation services industry, questions may arise on how to proceed further and succeed more in such a career. “How do I find more work opportunities?” “How can I better my skills as a translator in Singapore?” In the paragraphs to come, I will explore answers for one question in particular: “Should I be a translation professional who can deal with a broad variety of job types, or should I specialize and focus my attentions to a specific field or industry?”

The trade-off that happens here is obvious. By having a general baseline knowledge of translating several types of documents for different purposes (such as PR application translations), one can be more certain of being suitable for a client in need of professional language-related help or a certified translation company in Singapore that requires additional skilled help. Conversely, choosing to have a specialty (such as specifically working with legal translation services) may mean a narrower range of jobs one could be suitable for, but at the same time, having that specialty allows one to stand out as an especially appropriate choice when an employer is selecting someone to provide a particular translation service.

Simply having a speciality is also supposedly a self-sustaining loop of professional publicity, in a sense. For example, if you are one of a very few professionals who know the process and requirements for a particular type of translation job (such as having experience in certified notarized translation services in Singapore), you can then be one of the first few names that a client or translation company will turn to when they are seeking translators for such a job. Moreover, you can stand out even further as a top choice for their needs if you are able to expertly translate to and from an uncommon language in the area you are seeking work from.

Of course, this does not mean that generalization and specialization are mutually exclusive to a translator, or at least throughout the entirety of their career. It is certainly possible to begin as a provider of general certified translation services in Singapore, and after gaining sufficient experience over a broad range of document and job types, a translator can then devote their focus to specialize in the field of their choice and preference. Or alternatively, you may have a specialty as a translator in the field of legal translation services, and then decide to branch out for as a general translator to widen your opportunities for work.

Regarding the question of being a general translator or having a specialty, its answer is situational, depending on both yourself and on whatever is happening within the translation industry. When you consider both and make an informed judgment on where to focus your attentions, then you can be confident in finding further success as a provider of certified document translation services in Singapore.


Once one has become a translator and acquired some experience with working in the document translation services industry, questions may arise on how to proceed further and succeed more in such a career. “How do I find more work opportunities?” “How can I better my skills as a translator in Singapore?” In the paragraphs to come, I will explore answers for one question in particular: “Should I be a translation professional who can deal with a broad variety of job types, or should I specialize and focus my attentions to a specific field or industry?”

The trade-off that happens here is obvious. By having a general baseline knowledge of translating several types of documents for different purposes (such as PR application translations), one can be more certain of being suitable for a client in need of professional language-related help or a certified translation company in Singapore that requires additional skilled help. Conversely, choosing to have a specialty (such as specifically working with legal translation services) may mean a narrower range of jobs one could be suitable for, but at the same time, having that specialty allows one to stand out as an especially appropriate choice when an employer is selecting someone to provide a particular translation service.

Simply having a speciality is also supposedly a self-sustaining loop of professional publicity, in a sense. For example, if you are one of a very few professionals who know the process and requirements for a particular type of translation job (such as having experience in certified notarized translation services in Singapore), you can then be one of the first few names that a client or translation company will turn to when they are seeking translators for such a job. Moreover, you can stand out even further as a top choice for their needs if you are able to expertly translate to and from an uncommon language in the area you are seeking work from.

Of course, this does not mean that generalization and specialization are mutually exclusive to a translator, or at least throughout the entirety of their career. It is certainly possible to begin as a provider of general certified translation services in Singapore, and after gaining sufficient experience over a broad range of document and job types, a translator can then devote their focus to specialize in the field of their choice and preference. Or alternatively, you may have a specialty as a translator in the field of legal translation services, and then decide to branch out for as a general translator to widen your opportunities for work.

Regarding the question of being a general translator or having a specialty, its answer is situational, depending on both yourself and on whatever is happening within the translation industry. When you consider both and make an informed judgment on where to focus your attentions, then you can be confident in finding further success as a provider of certified document translation services in Singapore.

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