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I just started...what should I do??
Thread poster: Jay
Jay
United States
Local time: 18:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 19, 2002

I just finished my studies of translation and interpretation. I am from Spain and I plan to live in the US. It is not being easy to get started above all as a freelancer. To many good people out there...or just with too much experience... any suggestions??? please??? I know I am good and I can prove it, but HOW???
[addsig]


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Yubing YANG
English to Chinese
+ ...
Take it easy Apr 20, 2002

Just like how a boy grows to be a man. It takes time, not cries.

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bochkor
Local time: 19:50
English to German
+ ...
Apr 20, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-19 15:31, BP wrote:

To many good people out there...

I know I am good and I can prove it, but HOW???





By writing \"too\" with \"oo\" and knowing strictly (no exception) when it\'s a single \"o\" and when it\'s double. And I don\'t care, whether your language pair listed in English > Spanish, English is one of the languages, so you have to take it seriously. These are basics.



Quote:


It is not being easy to get started above all as a freelancer.





You probably meant \"It is not easy to get started at all as a freelancer\" and in your other posting you nonchalantly failed to put the \"d\" for the past tense.



What have you learnt in your studies, if you don\'t even know these? Should I send you back to study?

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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 20:50
English to Spanish
What a warm welcome! Apr 20, 2002

Quote:


And I don\'t care, whether your language pair listed in English > Spanish, English is one of the languages, so you have to take it seriously.





He can be very serious about both languages, but the fact remains that he can only have one dominant language. He should be expected to perfectly write in Spanish and even there he can be falllible, as we all humans are.



Am I to infer that you can express yourself in English, Hungarian, Polish and German faultlessly?



Quote:


What have you learnt in your studies, if you don\'t even know these? Should I send you back to study?





He obviously learned enthusiasm for his craft, a respectful attitude towards wiser people´s advice -since he asks for guidance- and has all the candour of a newbie.



How threatening indeed!



Cheers,

Rossana





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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:50
French to English
Let's encourage not discourage ! Apr 20, 2002

How unfortunate. The person asking for help here has received no real demonstration of peer solidarity. Let\'s hope I can change that a little. Let\'s hope I am not the only one to do so.



Dear BP,



There are as many ways of going about it all as there are translators. I would quite simply point out one or two basics to start with :

- specialize

- translate only into your mother tongue

- refuse work if it is beyond you, in terms of relevant knowledge and/or linguistically



Determine in your own mind, or on a piece of paper, the fields of knowledge you have and work to obtain clients (or agencies) with whom you will be able to do this sort of work.



Never translate professionally other than into your mother tongue. Ten good jobs and your clients might start referring to you as doing a good job. One rotten one and you are sure thay will talk about it.



If no obvious area of knowledge springs to mind, then you must never the less know the type of texts you are at home with. Stick with the type of work you know you can do well.



*****

That\'s all fine, I can hear you saying but where do I get my clients from?



Agencies. There are agencies and agencies. Some are cowboys out to make you work for terrible rates at a terrible speed and will pay you accordingly, and often terribly late. There are also good agencies who will respect you for your true worth. They will give you small texts to start with and (perhaps) pay a reasonable rate.



Direct clients. If you can already determine a specific speciality, then you may feel ready to contact local businesses proposing your services. There you will be able to impose a slightly higher rate than through an agency which has to cream off a certain (?!) percentage.



Running a business. You will be running a business. Find out about all the help you are entitled to have. Short courses run by your local chamber of commerce can be helpful in deciding what sort of structure to have. You also need to work out roughly how much money it is going to cost you to get started, in the very beginning and over the first year approximately. This is not always easy to calculate. You need to avoid nasty surprises.



*****

Pitching you price. Do not sell yourself down. Whatever the rate you apply, some clients always complain about paying – period.



When starting out, you will work much more slowly than when you have acquired more experience. There are limits of course, some things are possible, some things are not. One’s slowness in the early days will be penalizing enough in terms of time. Time is money. The more work you can get through, the more work you can invoice. But you have to be realistic. Whatever the price paid, the client is still looking for quality work, as a general rule. Apply a fair rate, do a good job and clients will come back and stay with you.



So, BP there you have it. Here’s hoping that this has given you some encouragement. Good luck in your chosen fields and … welcome to ProZ.com – you will realize just what a useful tool it can be as those jobs start coming in. Don’t hesitate to post questions on the KudoZ pages as and when you get stuck.



All the best,



Nikki Scott-Despaigne

ProZ.com Moderator French>English





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esmeraldarl
Local time: 01:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is easy to critizise Apr 20, 2002

As far I know, translators have to translate into their mother tongue. It is not obligatory to speak or to write perfectly the language you translate from. Translators have to understand the source text, not only the words, but also the culture, the society... To translate from English translators don\'t have to be English, they must have a perfect command of their mother tongue.



BP, no te desanimes, yo también acabo de empezar y como se dice por ahí \"el que la sigue la consigue\", hay que luchar...



László, feel free to critisize my command of English. I don\'t mind.
[addsig]


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:50
English to Swedish
+ ...
Specialize! Apr 20, 2002

You will only be able to command premium fees if you are specialized.



1. Decide on which field you want to specialize in.

2. Get a proper training in the chosen field of specialization!

3. Work for a number of years in your field of specialisation the source language area.

4. Work for a number of years in your field of specialisation the target language area.

5. Build a network of contacts while doing \"3\" and \"4\".

6. Launch your translator career!



Best of luck!



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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 01:50
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Have confidence! Apr 20, 2002

I am also a beginner as a freelance translator and I think

- the first rule is to have self-confidence (therefore, you ought to specialise)

- the second is to have patience: you\'ve got to be prepared for ups and downs, because this business looks quite cyclical.



In terms of the details, there is hardly anything to add to what Nikki wrote (an excellent summary!). It won\'t be easy, that\'s for sure, but the world of translation is vast and colourful, so I am sure you\'ll find your place! (\"If there is a will, there is a way.\")


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:50
English to German
+ ...
Bravo to Nikki! Apr 20, 2002

Although Nikki\'s comments leave nothing to add, I would point out this to BP: Give us some more background info about yourself - this might help us to help you.

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Jay
United States
Local time: 18:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much Apr 20, 2002

I don\'t know what your name is and to be honest I don\'t even care. I am just gonna tell you that people like you don\'t worth anything. If you were planning to ruin my day and make me feel so bad that I desisted of the idea of being a translator, I am sorry but you felt. Maybe I don\'t have an impressive background, maybe I don\'t have much experience, maybe I didn\'t type correctly...but I know I am good. I know I can be good, probably better than you are. And nobody is gonna make think other way, specialy you. And, another thing, for being who you say you are, YOU DON\'T HAVE ANY MANNERS. Instead of being so critical you should know how to have any class.



Thank you.


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Jay
United States
Local time: 18:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Apr 20, 2002

Thank all who tried to encourage me.

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Yubing YANG
English to Chinese
+ ...
Apr 22, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-20 08:18, nikscot wrote:

How unfortunate. The person asking for help here has received no real demonstration of peer solidarity. Let\'s hope I can change that a little. Let\'s hope I am not the only one to do so.







I did not mean to hurt or discourage a new-comer. I just express what I have arrived for the past few years. Advices are greatly helpful, but as a professional you are facing challenges everyday. What I meant is take is easy, practice and learn from experience and move on.



I have no competition from BP\'s language pair, so I have no need to discourage him/her.



MingKwai

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maciejm  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:50
Partial member (2011)
English to Polish
+ ...
To Laszlo Apr 25, 2002

\"By writing \"too\" with \"oo\" and knowing strictly (no exception) when it\'s a single \"o\" and when it\'s double. And I don\'t care, whether your language pair listed in English > Spanish, English is one of the languages, so you have to take it seriously. These are basics.\"



Since one of yor pairs is English-Polish,I just wonder how good your Polish spelling is.

\"Przygania³ kocio³ garnkowi\", I\'m afraid.




[addsig]


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JR
Spanish to English
ANIMO BP Apr 26, 2002

There has to be a \"wise guy\" everywhere.



Don´t be discouraged BP. Try. Persist. Succeed!

You´ll find that most people in these forums are full of encouragement and good advice. Don´t be discouraged by someone´s remarks or wise-cracks about your spelling. I´m certain once you get started you will realize what areas you need to concentrate on and find out your strengths and weaknesses (as we all have them). Accept the suggestions of more experienced translators and simply discard the ones from people whose comments do not add any value or whose criticism is not constructive at all.

Como dicen en Español amigo/a, \"Hay que aprender a andar antes que correr\". Tómatelo paso a paso y no desistas.



Un saludo.


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 01:50
French to English
Thanks for your solidarity and support... May 7, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-04-20 08:18, nikscot wrote:

How unfortunate. The person asking for help here has received no real demonstration of peer solidarity. Let\'s hope I can change that a little. Let\'s hope I am not the only one to do so.




Thanks for the sound advice. I still can\'t believe that the translators who write incredibly rude and sarcastic comments on ProZ can make a go of it in a service-oriented business like translation. I wonder if they speak to their customers the same way!! It is encouraging to see experienced translators reaching out to advise those of us just starting out and it is inspirational to see it done with a professional, positive attitude. I\'m planning to print your advice and post it at eye level! Thanks again.



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