A Spanish translator can speak Spanish and at least one other language. He helps others by translating between Spanish and the second language. He may have been raised bilingual, speaking two languages, or he may have learned his second language later in life. Spanish may be his first or second language, but he needs a firm grasp over both languages to perform job duties properly.
Translators can work in a variety of fields. A personal Spanish translator may interpret and translate conversations between two people, often for business or political matters. Two company leaders, one who speaks Spanish and one who does not, need someone to interpret the conversation and repeat what was said to the other person before translating his response and reporting it to the first party.
Written materials also need translators. Books written in Spanish and those being translated for Spanish-speaking audiences need a Spanish translator to convert the material. Simply translating word-for-word with a dictionary or computer translator will not work. Phrases lose their meaning when translated literally, and often a common phrase used in everyday language means something completely different from what the words mean individually. For this reason, a Spanish translator must understand the language well enough to translate the words so that the book still carries its original meaning.
While those interested in becoming a translator can take classes to help them, education requirements vary largely between jobs. Often a formal degree in a specific language is not needed as long as the person is fluent in both Spanish and the language he will translate between. Those interested who want to brush up on their skills can take courses or even receive a college degree in Spanish or the second language of their choice. Writing courses will help those who need to translate text to learn proper grammar and professional writing skills.
Employment opportunities include working for businesses or government organizations to help with translations. Often, those looking for a job or who want the freedom to work at home may become a freelance Spanish translator. As such, a person might work on several projects at once and search for new projects with different clients once his current projects are finished. He can find jobs that suit his interests and his skill levels in translating.
Aside from taking college courses, cheaper options for learning Spanish include books, free Internet resources, and audio tracks which all help teach Spanish to the interested student. Audio has the advantage of giving the person a chance to pick up on the proper pronunciation of a word. It also allows the student to listen in the car while driving or to play the track at home while cleaning or cooking dinner.