Trying to publish a translation can be something of a Sisyphian battle. Whether you're trying to publish a story in a journal or get your entire book published, the entire process can seem overwhelming, daunting even. This essay will focus on some of the ways one can appeal to editors in various genres.
Getting published in journals is usually one's first step. However, it's hard to know who is interested in translations. Most poetry journals will publish a translation, however, there are fewer opportunities for prose. And then there's the ghettoizing issue- is getting published in a translation specific journal always a good thing? What about other kinds of genre journals?
Good/reputable translation journals include: Circumference(http://www.circumferencemag.com), eXchanges (www.uiowa.edu/~xchanges), Absinthe (http://www.absinthenew.com), Two Lines (http://www.twolines.com), Metamorphoses (http://www.smith.edu/metamorphoses), Perihelion (http://webdelsol.com/Perihelion), and Passport (http://uark.edu/~passport)-- just to name a few.
Having edited a journal myself, I know that there are a few ways to annoy the hell out of editors, actions that will surely get your submission trashed. The primary problem is not paying attention to the submission guidelines. Read them carefully. Do not send anything outside the accepted dates. This will annoy editors who have a lot of mail/email to organize.
Do not send too many submissions. Once, we had some pieces by an excellent translator. However he kept sending more and more, until it got to the point that we didn't accept any of them.
If you get to know a journal, write to the editor specifically. This applies to book publishing as well. Get to know someone higher up. Write directly to the editor if possible. Many of these attempts simply require getting your foot in the door.
If your command of English is anything other than superb, do not translate into it. This applies, of course, for whichever language you translate into. Many submissions arrive with poorly written cover letters by applicants who clearly have a non-native command of English. Although such letters provide endless sources of amusement, don't allow yourself to be mocked. Apply to a journal in your native language.
Always be professional. Submitting to a journal is like applying for a job, except that instead of your person looking sharp, the important thing is that your work look polished. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the readers/editors. Make their job easier and you will reap the rewards.