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Contacting direct clients in your source language
Thread poster: Andrea Pakieser

Andrea Pakieser
United States
Local time: 03:06
Italian to English
+ ...
Aug 28, 2008

I'm curious as to whether most translators look for direct clients in their target language exclusively.

How many of you have your resume/marketing materials available in your source language as well?

Is there anyone who'd like to share their experiences in conducting a source-language marketing campaign?

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Daniel Šebesta  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:06
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
Only in the source languages Aug 28, 2008

Andrea Pakieser wrote:

How many of you have your resume/marketing materials available in your source language as well?

I have my resume in both of my major source languages, not in my target language. I have a website only in one of my major source languages. I haven't even thought of translating my resume into my target language yet.

The language choice should reflect the markets you are interested in. It also depends on what is your target language. For someone who translates into English, it is, of course, essential to have marketing materials in his/her target language.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:06
English to German
+ ...
Interesting question. Aug 28, 2008

I never thought of that. I never did. Maybe it's because the target language-country is already packed with native speakers. Maybe it's because the dollar is still in a slump and - living in the US - I don't want to be contacted by German companies who think that I would be so much cheaper, haha!

All my direct clients are in the US, Canada and England.

Interesting thread. Thanks, Andrea!

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nordiste  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:06
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
you have to speak the language of your direct client Aug 29, 2008

If my potential client is a French company who deals with English documents, then I will address him in French of course.

But if I want to target British companies who are eager to prospect the French market and want their own material and brochures translated into French than I have to contact them in English.

The problem is, my English (written and spoken) is not as good as my French. So it could give a false impression, clients don't always understand that as a translator I translate into my mother tongue only, and of course my French is flawless.

I always try to have my English material (CV, website) carefully proofread by a native English speaker, either a friend or a colleague who works with the FR/EN pair but in the opposite side.

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Andrea Incarbona
Local time: 11:06
English to French
+ ...
Thanks for starting this thread! Aug 29, 2008

As a translator, I consider addressing in their own language potential direct clients interested by the French market an opportunity to have more jobs. That's exactly the strategy of our clients!

That being said, my website is almost exclusively in French for now. On my home page, I put one paragraph in my source languages precising the translated versions would be uploaded soon, I also briefly described my skills and services (not exactly the same as for a French company) and explained I can be contacted in my working languages. I also added a link to my LinkedIn profile which is in English.
Beyond the fact it can help me reach more clients, I consider having my website in my source languages an argument per se to convince clients to have their own website translated.

Of course, I will pay a professional translator for my website. Concerning my resume, I was helped to create an English and a German version of it during my studies. But having other marketing materials in my source languages is not easy. In fact, I am not so good at writing and speaking German as understanding it, so it's a bit of a handicap to contact potential direct clients in Germany by mail. I thought that because I am more comfortable in English I could contact German (or Swiss and Austrian) companies in English but I would have no more credibility than with a German text of poor quality.
So for now I don't dare contacting my potential preys!

That's why I am wondering if a German native translator would be interested in correcting the mails I prepare for particular clients or occasions. I would help do the same in French. I would be interested by the same kind of exchange in English. In order to avoid an inbalance situation, a maximum volume could be set.
What do you think of this idea? Are you in the same situation?

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Alex Farrell  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:06
Japanese to English
More languages --> more opportunities Aug 30, 2008

I think having your resume and website in all the languages you work with, whether they are source or target languages, is essential to better securing a more steady flow of work.

Of course, it also depends what fields you work in. In my case, since I mostly work with materials that Japanese clients want to have translated into English, such as travel brochures, corporate profiles, news articles, video games and graphic novels, I absolutely have to have my resume and website in Japanese. My Proz profile is in both languages, and if you want to add to my visitor count, have a peek: I get a lot of visits from both in and outside Japan, though my English resume gets about twice as many hits.

This is probably because some of my PMs at Japanese agencies can write English fairly well (one being a native speaker, in fact). But, I still have to correspond with most of them in Japanese. My wife proofreads about half of those emails, but so far no one seems to have been turned off by my mistakes in messages that aren't proofed.

On the other hand, translators in my language pair who work with patents, for example, usually have clients based outside Japan and can correspond with them entirely in English.

Anyway, I suggest to everyone that you localize your Proz profile if you haven't already, and get somebody to proofread it if you need to. At the least you'll get some practice in the language, helping you to better understand it in the future.

- Alex

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