A book translator takes a book in one language and translates it into another. If you want to become a book translator, you'll typically need to be able to read and write fluently in both your native tongue and a foreign language. You may be able to find work as a book translator without formal education, but some prospective employers and potential clients may prefer to hire book translators with degrees in a foreign language, linguistics, or literature. Additionally, some experienced book translators recommend visiting the country from which the second language originates. Doing so may help you gain a firmer grasp of the nuances of the language before you begin translating.
In order to become a book translator, you'll typically need to be fluent in reading and writing in your native tongue as well as at least one other language. You'll typically need a firm foundation of knowledge when it comes to writing as well. For example, you'll usually need to be capable of translating sentences in keeping with the other language's sentence structure and grammar rules. You'll likely need good spelling ability as well or a reliable spell-checker that works with the language into which you will be translating books.
Graduating from high school may be the first step you take toward becoming a book translator, though you may choose to earn a general educational development (GED) diploma instead. While in high school, you may do well to take courses in composition and literature in preparation for a career in this field. Once you've graduated from high school or earned a GED, you may decide to go on to college to earn a bachelor's degree in your second language, literature, or linguistics. Some experts in this field even recommend earning a master's degree in one of these majors in order to become a book translator.
You may also do well to visit the country from which your second language originates to learn more about the language from its native people. For example, some aspiring translators spend a year abroad and submerge themselves in the culture and language of a foreign country. You might, for example, teach your own language in the foreign country while you work to enhance your knowledge of the language. This is not typically a mandatory step, however.
After you've prepared to become a book translator, you may contact publishing houses to look for a job. In many cases, however, book translators work on a freelance basis. This means you may have more success with landing book translation contracts than securing full-time employment.