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First timer needing help
Thread poster: khaos
khaos
Portugal
Local time: 18:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Dec 18, 2008

Hi everyone,
I'm a 22 years old portuguese man looking to get started in the translation world. I have the knowledge to translate but i don't know how everything works. What software, what rates, wich jobs..
I currently work as a turist guide for a portuguese company that works only with americans and i thought i could start doing translation jobs. I would love if someone could give me some tips on how to get started.

Regards,

André Perdigão


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:52
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Info on the site Dec 18, 2008

Dear Andre,

First, your post indicates that you should not translate into English. Only into your native language--that's the rule for professionals. Your English is not up to it.
But for English to Portuguese:

There is a ton of information already on this site, but it's not easy to orient yourself. Someone asks the same question that you do every week in the Forums. Learn now to do a Forum search. If you watch the Forums for a week or so for topics that interest you, many of your questions will discussed.

There is a user's guide to the site at:

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/262/1/ProZ.com-Translation-User-Manual

Read the Frequently Asked Questions at:

http://www.proz.com/faq

Most of this is stuff you probably don't want to know right now, but take a look anyway.

One thing you will learn from the FAQ is that rate information for different language pairs is only available to paying members of the site.

Good luck,
Susan


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Dawn Montague  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:52
German to English
+ ...
Other good resources Dec 18, 2008

I would highly recommend two titles:

1. Alex Eames' "How to Earn $80,000+ per Year as a Freelance Translator." This is an e-book that you can download in PDF format from http://www.translatortips.com. It costs 25 British pounds or about 48 US dollars. This is how I got started, and I think it's the best.
2. Corinne McKay's "How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator". This is geared more towards the US market, but it contains all the basic information you'll need and more. She also has an online course at http://www.translatewrite.com/index.php?s=teaching&p=courses. The course costs $350, but the book costs only about $18, I think.


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Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Your question's a little too vague Dec 18, 2008

First - read up on the Web sites and books recommended above.
Then - ask more precise questions that are tailored to your specific situation. You will probably get more useful help that way.
Good luck and get going!!!
Translation is not for the faint of heart nor for those who will not read and research extensively.


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khaos
Portugal
Local time: 18:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 18, 2008

Thanks for all the answers. I'll get one of those books and start by reading it.

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Dawn Montague  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:52
German to English
+ ...
Agree that's it not for the faint of heart! Dec 18, 2008

Christina Courtright wrote:

Translation is not for the faint of heart nor for those who will not read and research extensively.


Christina is so right! It is not easy to get started, either! If you want to be really successful and make your living from freelance translation, you have to have an unusual amount of persistence and focus, in addition to knowledge gathered by lots of research. I have mentored a number of people who wanted to get started, and I can say that the necessary persistence is, by far, the most difficult thing to come by.


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Luis E. Romero
Colombia
Local time: 12:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Perhaps, perhaps Dec 18, 2008

Susan Welsh wrote:

Dear Andre,

First, your post indicates that you should not translate into English. Only into your native language--that's the rule for professionals. Your English is not up to it.
But for English to Portuguese:


Good luck,
Susan


I don't necessarily agree with this. I think his English is pretty good for a non-native speaker, but he obviously didn't proofread his post before he hit submit. I think he would be able to translate into English as long as he has a native English speaker proofread his translation before sending it off to a client. This could be a good opportunity for him to team up with a proofreader in the future.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"I have the knowledge to translate" Dec 18, 2008

khaos wrote:
I'm a 22 years old portuguese man looking to get started in the translation world. I have the knowledge to translate but i don't know how everything works. What software, what rates, wich jobs..


After 14 years as a full time translator I still have doubts about whether my knowledge is rich enough to translate. Saying "I have the knowledge to translate" is something you will consider very naïve and pedantic yourself in some years time, I am sure. It happened to me too.

My only advice to you is: never think you have the knowledge to translate. Look for more knowledge, learn, put your knowledge to a test, challenge your culture and abilities, read a lot, write a lot, talk to everybody and try to learn why and how they do things (both technically and socially). A good translator (I am not saying I am one) must show many different abilities and qualities, some of which are only acquired with time in my opinion. I am not saying I am old!

And for God's sake, change your user name to something different than "khaos". The least I would want as a client is to have my documents translated by "khaos"... And good luck!!


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khaos
Portugal
Local time: 18:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
khaos Dec 18, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

khaos wrote:
I'm a 22 years old portuguese man looking to get started in the translation world. I have the knowledge to translate but i don't know how everything works. What software, what rates, wich jobs..


After 14 years as a full time translator I still have doubts about whether my knowledge is rich enough to translate. Saying "I have the knowledge to translate" is something you will consider very naïve and pedantic yourself in some years time, I am sure. It happened to me too.

My only advice to you is: never think you have the knowledge to translate. Look for more knowledge, learn, put your knowledge to a test, challenge your culture and abilities, read a lot, write a lot, talk to everybody and try to learn why and how they do things (both technically and socially). A good translator (I am not saying I am one) must show many different abilities and qualities, some of which are only acquired with time in my opinion. I am not saying I am old!

And for God's sake, change your user name to something different than "khaos". The least I would want as a client is to have my documents translated by "khaos"... And good luck!!


Thanks for your answer but if a client doesn't want my service because of my nickname i don't really care. I restore classic cars from September to March in my garage. I do all the bodywork, the paint, the upholstery and mechanics and sign all of them with "khaos". Not once i had a complaint about it. my nickname does not reflect my work, if a client thinks it does, as i said, i don't care.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation, probably very different from bodywork Dec 19, 2008

khaos wrote:
Thanks for your answer but if a client doesn't want my service because of my nickname i don't really care. I restore classic cars from September to March in my garage. I do all the bodywork, the paint, the upholstery and mechanics and sign all of them with "khaos". Not once i had a complaint about it. my nickname does not reflect my work, if a client thinks it does, as i said, i don't care.


I offered this advice based on my experience. I think it is useful advice in this industry and I never meant to offend you. Maybe a nickname like "khaos" is good in bodywork, bad in other industries. Or maybe a nickname is not a good idea in general in translation (I would never hire a translator with a nickname in a site like Proz, unless I knew the person beforehand and I saw a long experience or solid references).

Personally I think that if you ask for advice from professional, full-time translators, a wise thing to do is to listen to what we have to say as we mean it good to you. Or, you can disregard this advice completely, in which case I will thank you for not blaming me if you fail in becoming a professional translator. Good luck!


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Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 20:52
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
New in the business myself Dec 19, 2008

But as far as I can see, being a freelancer means you are a business. Image is extremely important. As for me, I'm careful not to use smilies if the other party doesn't use them first and set the stage for more informal communication.

If a client doesn't get past your image, they will never know how competent you are and how good to work with (because you need so much more than just linguistic competence to run a business, even if it is just you translating, not a company). So I wouldn't even dream of using the same nickname and image I use somewhere else on the Internet, or any other nickname for that matter. And just like in online dating, you get more answers if you show your photos... professional photos supporting your professional image, that is. Not the ones you would put in a dating ad.

But of course it depends on who you target. If you translate for the same clients you restore cars for and who know you as khaos and like your work, it probably works just fine. If it's a larger audience, I would seriously consider. Saying you don't care if clients prefer someone else just because your nickname makes them wary, well that may work out just fine too, if you have plenty of clients to choose from.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:52
Dutch to English
+ ...
In that case ... Dec 19, 2008

khaos wrote:

Thanks for your answer but if a client doesn't want my service because of my nickname i don't really care. I restore classic cars from September to March in my garage. I do all the bodywork, the paint, the upholstery and mechanics and sign all of them with "khaos". Not once i had a complaint about it. my nickname does not reflect my work, if a client thinks it does, as i said, i don't care.


... perhaps you'd be better off sticking to your cars. Knowing the chaos that ensues on Portuguese roads as well as I do, I'm actually not surprised nobody queried it. After all, it's an accepted part of life here

Translation, on the other hand, revolves around words and the very message they convey ... so, as another experienced professional, I'd advise you to think about it carefully before being so dismissive of Tomás' excellent advice.


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Letizia Ridolfi
Italy
Local time: 19:52
English to Italian
+ ...
getting started in this business Jan 16, 2009

Hi everybody!
Like our Portuguese friend, I'm getting starded in this business myself, even though I've been translating "for fun and friends" for a long time.
I try to read as much as I can to improve my English and Spanish and also my native language (Italian), because I do believe you never stop learning. Not in this field at least!

Then I also try to get updated about the most useful tools you can use to make your work easier or faster. For instance, I'm learning to use Trados right now.

What I do find hard is to get "finished" with a translation: when I proofread my work I am never ready to let it go, as if I could never consider it done properly! Moreover, when I read what I wrote after a long time, I tend to consider it poor, inadequate.... childish!
Do you think this is going to last? How can I get more confidence in what I do?

Tks everybody
Letizia


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Ellis Jongsma  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:52
Member (2006)
English to Dutch
Like every translator... Feb 17, 2009

I think almost every translator has that problem. A translation can always be improved, maybe that one sentence should be a bit different, maybe this, maybe that...

It is useful to look back at translations you did a year or longer ago. Especially as a starting translator you can learn a lot by that. It will also give you more confidence, because you can see that finished translations are gaining more quality.

@khaos
I took a look at your website. It's about designing websites. So are you a website designer, a translator, or do you work with cars? Also, why not translate your website into English?

[Bijgewerkt op 2009-02-17 09:34 GMT]


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