You will need to have the ability to read and write Italian and at least one other language in order to become an Italian translator. Generally, translators translate from a foreign language into their native language instead of from their mother tongue into a foreign language. It usually will be necessary to provide proof of your skill and verifiable experience to obtain a job as a translator for the government. Depending on the subject matter with which you choose to work, you might also need to acquire a specialized vocabulary. For example, to become an Italian translator in the medical field, you will need to possess an understanding of medical terminology.
Proof of your skill and knowledge of the Italian language can be shown in the credentials you obtain, such as a bachelor's degree, a master's degree or a certificate issued from a regionally accredited college or university. It is important, however, to remember the importance of real-world experience and references. Experience can be gained whether you are paid for your work or are an unpaid volunteer. Various social service and religious organizations might offer opportunities. If you do not reside in an area where Italian is spoken, you might want to consider telecommuter positions, because your work could be delivered via the Internet.
To succeed in your quest to become an Italian translator, you will need to be aware of where the language is spoken to better locate opportunities. Although Italian is not the official language of many nations, there are sizable Italian-speaking communities on almost every continent. For example, Italian is spoken by many people in South America in the countries Argentina and Brazil and in the African nations of Libya and Somalia. It also is one of the official languages of Switzerland.
Certification in the American Translators' Association (ATA) might also be beneficial if you have professional credentials because it is internationally recognized for certifying professional translators through a testing process. United States citizenship is not a requirement to join or to become certified. The other advantage that the ATA offers is access to a job bank through which translators seeking employment or freelance opportunities can discover potential jobs. It also is a good idea to learn as much about the culture of the people with whom you might work in your preparation to become an Italian translator. If you are not from Italy and are learning Italian in school, you probably are being taught primarily about the culture of Italy and Italian-speaking Switzerland.
It would be a good idea to expand your knowledge to include some familiarity with the culture and customs found in the African nations of Libya, Somalia and Eritrea because it might prove impressive if you apply for a federal job in the United States. If you become an Italian translator who works freelance jobs as a primary source of income, you might want to consider acquiring interpretation skills as well. Translation refers to written works, and interpretation refers to oral communication. Possessing both skills usually will greatly expand your chances of generating steady income as a freelancer.