Mobile menu

After browsing this forum, still wondering how to get some experience...
Thread poster: Brandon Wood

Brandon Wood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:06
Japanese to English
+ ...
May 10, 2005

Hello everyone, I recently became a platinum member just yesterday, and I am trying desperately to get some real experience translating. Personally, I am very confident in my translation ability, and I have done a number of projects as a hobby including translating an anime series, video games, and a number of CVs or similar documents for friends. All my work has always been well received however it does not count as professional experience. I am stuck in the loop of "need experience to get a job, but can't get experience without a job." Are there any suggestions on what I can do to make myself look like a professional to potential clients. I will be uploading a CV ASAP but even then I really don't have anything worthwhile to put in it to impress potential clients. What should I do?

Thanks in advance,
Brandon


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 06:06
German to English
Try contacting an agency in your geographical area May 10, 2005

Do a search of corporate members of the American Translators Association
http://www.americantranslators.org/tsd_corp_listings/advanced_search.html
and locate some agencies in your general geographical location.
Make an appointment to talk to a manager. Bring your CV as well as samples (source/target) of your work. If you're lucky, you might get a few small jobs which will lead to bigger jobs. Once you have a few jobs under your belt, start sending your CV to other agencies.

Do a google search of translators organizations in your geographical area and attend a meeting if one is nearby.

Don't quit your day job until you have a steady stream of income from translating.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

davidgreen
German to English
just starting out in the US May 10, 2005

I found several translation agencies willing to work with me when I was just starting out. I basically sent out CVs then called and explained my situation that I was competent but not yet experienced. They were commonly lower paying agencies. Otherwise, the way you word the "hobby" translations on your CV could just be without the word hobby, for example, without being deliberately dishonest. A pager/mobile phone is extremely helpful for agencies knowing they can reach you immediately.
Hope that helps


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Beth Dennison  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:06
Chinese to English
+ ...
Stress whatever experience you have... May 10, 2005

Brandon Wood wrote:

Are there any suggestions on what I can do to make myself look like a professional to potential clients.


Dear Brandon,

I think you need to stress whatever experience you do have - after all translating for friends is better than no translation experience at all. List projects (however small) that you have undertaken recently to prove to potential clients that you are capable of undertaking THEIR project.

I would advise writing to as many translation agencies as you can that you know translate in your language pair and field of expertise. Always stress the experience you have.

Don't expect a lot of replies at once. Some agencies may respond immediately, others may not respond until they need you.
I started as a freelancer a couple of years ago. It took me about five months to get a good steady stream of work and I am now in the position of having to outsource work occasionally or turn work down.

I wish you all the best.

Beth


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Deschant
Local time: 11:06
Volunteer translations May 10, 2005

You may want to consider collaboration with a NGO or non-profit organization of your interest (human rights? environment? religion? I think it's important, in this case, to choose an organization you share your goals with) who needs volunteer translators. Some of them publish translations in their websites and include the translator´s name, so you can send the link to your clients and they'll see a real sample of your work. And of course you'll be contributing to a good cause.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anabel Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
don't sell yourself too cheap May 10, 2005

Hi, and welcome to proz.com,

It was not so long ago since I was looking for that experience, and I can tell you just a couple of things. Some of them would be to revise as many times as you can your CV, do some research here so that you get the grasp of it. Also, you can try and do some voluntary work, that is invaluable, both as a professional and personal experience.

I would like to add one more thing regarding your profile here on proz.com: you state that your rates are cheaper than the average here in proz.com. That doesn't look very professional; you're damaging professionals by not having normal rates (if you want to live from translation one day, you'll have to raise your rates, and I can tell you that this is quite impossible once an agency has worked with you for a price). If you continue taking a look here on proz.com, you will see that the fight for decent rates is an everyday topic. So, to begin your professional career as a translator, what I'm recommending you strongly is to first get a grasp of the real translation world

Cheers and good luck

[Edited at 2005-05-10 15:32]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:06
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Professional standards for professional rates May 10, 2005

Anabel is absolutely right. We just had a forum debate in Italian on this very subject.
Translators are professionals: they are not selling potatoes at the market. The fact that you don't have oodles of experience doesn't mean you aren't a good translator. You may not be able to charge the highest rates yet, but you must charge professional rates.
"Cheap" is not a word with positive connotations. It insinuates a lower quality. It's better to target expressions like "reasonable", "affordable" or similar if you want to make it a selling point.
But beware that keeping rates too low is tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot. You won't be able to make a decent living (which I presume is your final objective) and you will antagonise colleagues instead of making them your allies. This will work against you because there is massive networking in proz and people will never suggest you as a stand-in or offer you the chance to work as a team if you are undercutting them.
So welcome aboard and good luck.
Angela


Anabel Martínez wrote:
I would like to add one more thing regarding your profile here on proz.com: you state that your rates are cheaper than the average here in proz.com. That doesn't look very professional; you're damaging professionals by not having normal rates (if you want to live from translation one day, you'll have to raise your rates, and I can tell you that this is quite impossible once an agency has worked with you for a price). If you continue taking a look here on proz.com, you will see that the fight for decent rates is an everyday topic. So, to begin your professional career as a translator, what I'm recommending you strongly is to first get a grasp of the real translation world

Cheers and good luck


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Brandon Wood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:06
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everyone! May 10, 2005

Thanks for the replies everyone, I've gotten some valuable information. I'll also take note of the rates and adjust my profile accordingly. Hopefully I can get some jobs with some agencies soon, I'll be sending out my CVs soon. Also, I'm sure this has been covered but does anyone have any links to a nice website detailing how to write a decent CV, particularly for translation work. I'm not sure what I should include, etc. I have only written a CV for computer science work.

Thanks in advance,
Brandon Wood

P.S. I'm working on increasing my kudos as well, I have read that is important as well. I hope this can take me somewhere!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 04:06
English
Try SourceForge.net or any OSS project May 11, 2005

Brandon Wood wrote:
Hello everyone, I recently became a platinum member just yesterday, and I am trying desperately to get some real experience translating.


I noticed you have "computers" as an area of expertise. The fastest way to get real-world experience is to find an open-source project that needs translation for the user manual or the interface and do it. You won't get paid, but you will get full credit and your name in the document. Then you can point to the project as "real work" you have done.

sourceforge.net has a spot to post your skills in search of a task

The Linux documentation project at www.tldp.org/links/nenglish.html has some translations, and openoffice.org or the GIMP at gimp.org may all have chunks of manuals that could be translated or translations that could be improved.

If you use sourceforge, select projects that are least in a beta release, preferably full product release, with existing English documents. Way too many of them are in the planning stage and will never go anywhere.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:06
Member (2007)
German to English
SourceForge: Why didn't I think of that? May 30, 2005

[quote]Tsu Dho Nimh wrote:



sourceforge.net has a spot to post your skills in search of a task



SourceForge is an exceptional venue in which to acquire technical
experience. Somehow I'd never considered it as a source of
translation experience until I read this post.

While I was laid off during the last tech bust, I would repeatedly encounter the "two years experience" barrier. It didn't matter how
many Java or networking or database courses you had under your
belt, you had to have "two years experience" to get the gig. So
you see, the "can't get experience without a job; can't get a job
without experience" conundrum isn't just a disease of the newly
graduated.

SourceForge pays you with experience and contacts instead of
money. But it can be a lifesaver.


[Edited at 2005-05-31 10:40]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

After browsing this forum, still wondering how to get some experience...

Advanced search


Translation news





LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs