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How to get a translation contract?
Thread poster: Gaelle THIBAULT

Gaelle THIBAULT
Local time: 10:35
French to English
+ ...
Mar 11, 2005

Hi,

I am new in the "business" and would like to know how to be able to get a contract. I do not have a lot of previous translating experience but have some international business and logistics experience. I have replied to many jobs but I do not seem to have any luck. Can someone give me some hints on how to get a few jobs.


Thank you in advance!


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:35
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Market yourself Mar 12, 2005

I assume you have some other way of earning a living at the moment. If not, you should find one.

You need to take time to build up your profile. However, there are some things you can do to improve your profile right from the beginning.

1. Reduce your working languages to English-French and Spanish-French, since you have declared your native language to be French.

Personally, I sometimes look through people's profiles now, to see who could be offered a particular job. I prefer to do that, rather than advertise. Firstly, I look at the person's native language, and then at their working languages. If they claim to translate into all sorts of languages other than their own, I close the profile at that point and look at another one instead.

2. You have not entered anything under "specialisation". It would be a good idea to have a think about roughly what field you would like to specialise in, right from the beginning, and name it. Then, if you take up a course, for example, to work towards acquiring a Translation Diploma, you will know in advance in which direction you are heading.

3. Describe your qualifications, education and experience in as much detail as possible, not just in three lines, written in each of two languages. Give full details of where you studied, at which institution, between what dates, and what qualifications you gained.

Describe any work experience relevant to forming a background for your translation work. Most people become translators once they have a good background in a particular field, gained through other types of work.

4. A few more Kudoz points would make your profile look good, preferably in relevant language pairs.

5. Write e-mails to agencies. You will get their names and leads to their web sites from the Blue Board. Begin by offering modest rates, so that they will give you the work you need in order to build up experience.

Good luck!

Astrid


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:35
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Further comments Mar 13, 2005

Could you tell us, in your profile, what an export account manager does, Gaelle? How did you use your languages in that job?

Maybe you could also correct the typographic errors in your profile ("an" export manager, and put in the missing bracket). A profile with errors does not look too good.


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Gaelle THIBAULT
Local time: 10:35
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Mar 14, 2005

Thank you for your precious tips. I will be working on all you have indicated and hopefully it will pick up. I remain quite positive and for the moment have been replying to some KudoZ questions in order to be a little busy in this area! Thank you again.

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