Translation - art & business »

Getting established

Thread poster: xxxL. Ferrero
xxxL. Ferrero
Local time: 14:46
English to Spanish
Jan 15, 2004



[Edited at 2005-05-10 16:50]


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:46
French to English
Boast your medical training Jan 15, 2004

Hi Laura,

I think you have a great asset to boast: your medical training, even if you don't have a degree in translation. In fact, I have several colleauges who do not have a degree and they manage quite well to make a living from it.

I started out over 6 years ago and - I'll be honest - it took about a year before work was steady. That said, I targeted translation agencies only. I think you could market your services to medical journals, hospitals and other medical institutions that would call upon your services more regularly (even consulates - travellers do get sick!).

Don't give up. It's not easy in the beginning. The hardest part is getting yourself known, but if you persist and target the right places, it will work.

Make sure the CV you send out to potential clients is no more than 1 page. Remember: you're not applying for a job. You are a businesswoman offering a professional service. If you like, I can send you the brochure I send to potential clients privately to give you an idea of what to put.

Good luck,

Erika


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Catherine Brix
Local time: 14:46
Swedish to English
+ ...
Go for it! Jan 15, 2004

Gosh, have to agree with Erica, you have a fabulous backpack there - medical training, a bilingual family background and hands-on experience from a translation agency. I think most agencies would give high rates to such a background.

And although your time in Sweden was not a pleasant experience - too bad, it really isn't all bad here despite the lack of sunlight during the winter, the lack of darkness during the summer and the high taxes - it is an experience and probably counts for something. You did after all do a translation for a Swedish company - there are plenty of medical equipment/ pharmaceutical companies in the land of the Midnight Sun.

You really don't have to have a degree to translate - you do need a feel for the languages you work with, a love of words and a desire to help others get their message across. If that's what you want, go for it! It probably won't be easy in the beginning -although it might - but no one ever said life was easy.

You should also contact an employment agency and/or bank to find out what kind of financial assistance is available - I believe the EU countries have a number of programs to help people start their own businesses and some programs focus particularly on women and foreigners. I think you will find courses on how to start your own business, tax liabilities, and lots more.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2004-01-15 18:44]


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Lenka
United States
Local time: 05:46
English to Czech
+ ...
Getting started Jan 18, 2004

You definitely have to go for it! You seem to have all the right skills, degree is not always that important,

Good luck,

Lenka



wrote:

Gosh, have to agree with Erica, you have a fabulous backpack there - medical training, a bilingual family background and hands-on experience from a translation agency. I think most agencies would give high rates to such a background.

And although your time in Sweden was not a pleasant experience - too bad, it really isn't all bad here despite the lack of sunlight during the winter, the lack of darkness during the summer and the high taxes - it is an experience and probably counts for something. You did after all do a translation for a Swedish company - there are plenty of medical equipment/ pharmaceutical companies in the land of the Midnight Sun.

You really don't have to have a degree to translate - you do need a feel for the languages you work with, a love of words and a desire to help others get their message across. If that's what you want, go for it! It probably won't be easy in the beginning -although it might - but no one ever said life was easy.

You should also contact an employment agency and/or bank to find out what kind of financial assistance is available - I believe the EU countries have a number of programs to help people start their own businesses and some programs focus particularly on women and foreigners. I think you will find courses on how to start your own business, tax liabilities, and lots more.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2004-01-15 18:44][/quote]


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 07:46
German to English
There are a lot of free resources out there if you do your homework! Feb 1, 2004

Sorry - I originally accidentally posted this as a new topic - if any mods read this, please could you delete the separate topic with the same name? Thanks!

Hello,

I just wanted to say that there are a lot of free resources out there if do your homework. I started 3 months ago, *completely* penniless after I lost my in-house job, and I am now starting to make a living wage. It IS possible!

My dictionaries are in storage (its a very long story!) about 300 miles away and I work full-time using that huge library we call the Internet . I find everything I need on there, seriously.

Most of the translators' web sites let you have a free membership - I'm not Platinum here yet and I can still bid on jobs - use your BrowniZ and you wont have to pay!

I also use a free tool called Wordfast - download it from www.wordfast.net - it works like (and i believe is also compatible with) Trados, but it is completely free.

I realise that not having a Platinum membership or Trados may limit the jobs you can take on, but believe me, there are still plenty you CAN get, and once you build up a good reputation and a good relationship with a few clients, they will keep coming back.

Good luck!

Hilary


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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:46
German to English
+ ...
Something's bound to stick Feb 1, 2004

My impression from reading your post is that you should be in a good position to start working as a medical translator. You seem to have the right background and plenty of sense in your head.

Steady work is not easy to come by. I think the key here is that you need to contact many potential clients (direct and/or agencies) — not 3, not 10, but maybe hundreds.

The biggest mistake you can make is to send off a handful of applications, maybe do a couple of tests, and then sit there and wonder what they think about you and why they're not giving you any work. Send off your application, do your test, and then forget about them until they contact you (could be tomorrow, could be never). Rather than ponder what's going to happen, make the next contact, and then another one, and then another one ...

Highlight your strengths, don't be apologetic about your shortcomings (they're only shortcomings if you accept assignments that you're no good at) — and most of all, keep sending those messages and making those calls. You only need a few good clients, but you may need to follow many leads to find them. As they say round here, if you throw enough shit against the wall, something's bound to stick.


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