Translating experience into your own business

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of interpreters and translators is expected to grow 42% in the United States by 2020. As globalization and worldwide trade become common place, translators are increasingly needed to assist in communication between cultures. Even though free programs like Google Translator are readily available,computers cannot compete with the delicacy of human translation that remains unparalleled by technology.

Daniel Salinero became a full time public school teacher in 1981, teaching English as a second language (ESL).Six years before that, Salinero began translating English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English part-time.

salinero-(1).jpg  Daniel Salinero

After 36 years in the business, why would Salinero enroll in a continuing education translation program? The answer is twofold: On the one hand, he wanted to enhance a skill set he already had, and on the other, he wanted to create a more professional business around his freelance translation work, as the industry expends and becomes more competitive.

“I realized that I needed a better, more formal foundation upon which I could build,” Salinero says. “The catalyst was working on a project for a global surrogacy insurance company based in the Coachella Valley, where I live. It was very interesting work. I did a good job, but quickly realized that with more formal education, I could make better use of my time while translating, employ new strategies and techniques that I was not yet aware of, learn about online and print resources that would make my work easier and more enjoyable, and better understand translation software tools.”

Salinero realized he could become an even better translator with the guidance and framework of an established university program.

“I achieved all of that and more with the UC San Diego Extension Specialized Certificate in Translation Program,” Salinero says. “I’ve always enjoyed translation, languages, grammar, and vocabulary, and I realized that if I build my translation business during the summer, I can also eventually create a thriving translation business once I retire. I want it to supplement my pension, keep my mind active, and allow me to continue working at something that I truly enjoy.”

Salinero found the UC San Diego Extension program particularly attractive because he could complete the work from a distance, online. Asked to name three specific things he learned in the program that have helped him enhance his second career, he did not hesitate: “Learning the business side of translation, practicing the translation method taught in the program, and incredibly helpful critiques of my translations by experienced professors who have been professional translators.”

Salinero says his translation business has grown due to his website (, and he has a business plan to guide his translation work, including concrete pricing and deadline parameters that help him create realistic, competitive quotes before he begins work on a piece.

Check out the Translation program and other courses offered by UC San Diego Extension.

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