Average daily character count?
Thread poster: Scott Webber
Scott Webber
Canada
Local time: 10:01
Nov 25, 2003

Hello,

I've recently returned from studying in East Asia to graduate studies in Canada, and am thinking of trying to establish myself as a freelance translator (Chinese-English).

After working briefly in-house in Taipei, I'm still considering whether this career is suitable for me, and what specialities I'd be able to develop from my present interests and background.

It would be helpful to me to hear how others managed, and my question to you all is this:

What areas do (did) you work in, and what was your work voume during your first few years? And now that you are established?

Thanks!


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Make it known that you are qualified and also available for work. Nov 25, 2003

Scott,

Thank you for the first posting!

Interesting questions, but I do not remember exactly my work volume when I just started with this career. That was about 20 years ago. What I can remember was that I did not have much to do, because nobody knew who I was and what I could do. Now I learned that I needed to market and position myself. My suggestions are as the following:

1. Increase your credibility:
- Join in American Translators Association and/or any professional organization for translators.
- Join ProZ.com and become an active member.
- Make your profiles and resume complete and impressive. Remember your uniqueness is being a native English speaker who can translate Chinese. The good news is you do not have the competition from the army of native Chinese translators.
- Get involved with the local Chinese non-profit organizations, such as Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Friendship Association, etc. And let your Mayor's Office and Governor抯 Office know about your service.
- Make it known that you are qualified and also available for work.

2. Work as a part time translator while working part time for a local translation agency. This will give you an idea about who is out there and how they perform. This will provide you the cash flow to start out. This was the rout I took. It took me about three years before I could get enough jobs and work as a full-time translator and broker, providing mainly translation and graphic design services in Asian languages.

3. Take each job seriously and get it done beautifully. It is very effective to be known by the word of mouth. I notice that those clients who have stayed with me in all these years are those who have developed a good relationship with me on phone or in person. To them, I am not a stranger they would find online.

I just shared with you my thoughts which are formed and concentrated through the years of experiences. I hope they are helpful to you. When I started out, nobody was able to help me. Now, you have ProZ.com, which is definitely the virtue stage where you can interact with other translators and learn quickly.

Good luck with your endeavor and see you around!


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
Kevin's advice is precious but ... Nov 25, 2003

Kevin Yang wrote:
The good news is you do not have the competition from the army of native Chinese translators.


Hi Kevin,

What do you mean ?

- Get involved with the local Chinese non-profit organizations, such as Chinese Chamber of Commerce


Are you sure Chinese Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization ?

I am only joking. Have a nice day


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I think so, but I might be wrong on that one. Nov 25, 2003

chance wrote:

Are you sure Chinese Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization ?

I am only joking. Have a nice day


Chance,

Good question! I think so, but I might be wrong on that one. One thing is for sure that Chamber of Commerce is an office that works for and represents the companies, and promotes their products. The staff are paid mainly by the membership fees collected from the participated companies. One thing I am not sure is when a business deal is made with the help of Chamber of Commerce, does the Chamber of Commerce get a kickback in certain percentage? If so, that would be a different story.

Anyway, this organization is a good one to add into your contact list. Pay a visit to it soon, because it has the connection with the people and companies that are looking for your services. I am sure there is such an office in France, too.

Kevin


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, I know them well in France. It is business service. Nov 25, 2003

Anyway, this organization is a good one to add into your contact list. Pay a visit to it soon, because it has the connection with the people and companies that are looking for your services. I am sure there is such an office in France, too.
Kevin


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:01
English to Chinese
+ ...
I agree with Kevin Nov 26, 2003

on the point about joining reputable professional associations. Considering the exposure you get, it's well worth it to pay the membership dues.

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Scott Webber
Canada
Local time: 10:01
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, but ... Nov 28, 2003

Thanks for the warm welcome and many useful suggestions.

I\'m still curious, though, what the average volume of work is like for Ch>En translation in your various fields.

To put the question less directly, I\'m wondering whether it is realistic to expect that successful marketing in conjunction with following the suggestions above is likely to yield enough work to put me through graduate school?

Thanks again.


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Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:01
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, Dec 5, 2003

100% realistic.

Scott Webber wrote:
To put the question less directly, I'm wondering whether it is realistic to expect that successful marketing in conjunction with following the suggestions above is likely to yield enough work to put me through graduate school?

Thanks again.


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