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How to get into translation world without a diploma for it?
Thread poster: Virginie Lafage
Virginie Lafage
France
Local time: 00:43
English to French
Oct 4, 2005

Dear all,

I will try to be as clear as I can.
I have lived and worked in England for 5 years, now I'm back in France. When I was living in the UK I always occupied bilingual positions, before my return to France, I did some translation work through an Agency, they even gave me some references which was really good for me.

Back in France I passed the exam called the: T.O.E.I.C, the result was pretty good as I got: 790 points whitout studying before.....
Now I've being working in my job for almost 3 years as a bilingual Assistant, but my dream is and remain doing translation.....! ! ! !

How could I access into the Translation "world" without having the diploma for it?
Can I still offer my services? Do you know an exam that I could pass to give me some kind of qualification ?

I hope that you will be interested in my request and give me some direction.

Au plaisir de vous lire.
Virginie

ps: Ce site est vraiment fabuleux!!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-10-04 10:20]


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:43
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Moving this topic... Oct 4, 2005

to the Getting established forum.

Magda


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:43
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Satisfied customers are the best qualification Oct 4, 2005

NO diploma gives you any real qualification. Search customers according to your field of specialisation. Get the equipment and follow the example of your fellow translators.
Good luck
Heinrich


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:43
German to English
+ ...
You're almost there... Oct 4, 2005

To me it sounds as if you are already well on your way into the world of translation. There are myriad ways to grow your customer base (or even establish it) - I've encountered quite a few in these forums.

One way that I find particularly useful is to bid for jobs here on ProZ. Eventually, you will be chosen and then you can show them just how good you are (despite the lack of a diploma in translation).

I've also noticed that having something on the portfolio page of your profile here draws visitors who can then judge your skills for themselves.

And last, but not least, I would also recommend taking an active part in KudoZ, which seems to draw offers that are not always entered in the job system.

Gaining a reputation as a good translator takes some time, but - like I said - it sounds like you're well on your way.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2005-10-04 10:52]


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:43
Bonne chance! Oct 4, 2005

If I may recall a recent thread in this forum about a person who had a postgraduate qualification in translation and was bemoaning the fact that he was getting no work... Just because you have a piece of paper from a translation course does not mean that a) you can translate at a professional standard, or b) you are automatically better than translators who did not go to a translation school. Do it if you _really_ want to.

The only times I have ever been asked for a copy of my translation degree is for EU job tenders. And you don't have to do them if you don't want to. All customers care about it whether I am able to do a quality translation on time, within budget and other constraints and above all, with no hassle.

The main thing is getting real experience, and you have managed to get that, so just keep chipping away at it.


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Virginie Lafage
France
Local time: 00:43
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Derek for your kind e-mail ! ! ! ! That's it now I'm going for it.... Oct 4, 2005

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:

To me it sounds as if you are already well on your way into the world of translation. There are myriad ways to grow your customer base (or even establish it) - I've encountered quite a few in these forums.

One way that I find particularly useful is to bid for jobs here on ProZ. Eventually, you will be chosen and then you can show them just how good you are (despite the lack of a diploma in translation).

I've also noticed that having something on the portfolio page of your profile here draws visitors who can then judge your skills for themselves.

And last, but not least, I would also recommend taking an active part in KudoZ, which seems to draw offers that are not always entered in the job system.

Gaining a reputation as a good translator takes some time, but - like I said - it sounds like you're well on your way.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2005-10-04 10:52]


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Virginie Lafage
France
Local time: 00:43
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Orla, I really appreciate your reply, all the best : !! Oct 4, 2005

Orla Ryan wrote:

If I may recall a recent thread in this forum about a person who had a postgraduate qualification in translation and was bemoaning the fact that he was getting no work... Just because you have a piece of paper from a translation course does not mean that a) you can translate at a professional standard, or b) you are automatically better than translators who did not go to a translation school. Do it if you _really_ want to.

The only times I have ever been asked for a copy of my translation degree is for EU job tenders. And you don't have to do them if you don't want to. All customers care about it whether I am able to do a quality translation on time, within budget and other constraints and above all, with no hassle.

The main thing is getting real experience, and you have managed to get that, so just keep chipping away at it.


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Kevin Kelly  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:43
Member (2005)
Russian to English
+ ...
Excellent advice from your colleagues... Oct 4, 2005

Follow the excellent advice given by our ProZ colleagues.

My experience might serve as an example. I have been a successful professional translator and interpreter for over 30 years, and have absolutely no formal training in translation. Of course, I have nothing against getting a diploma, but to quote Mark Twain (loosely): "I always strove never to allow my schooling to interfere with my education."

Kevin


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:43
French to German
+ ...
Don't... Oct 4, 2005

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:
One way that I find particularly useful is to bid for jobs here on ProZ.

I'd advise against it. If you start on that alley, you'll find yourself doing $0.02-a-word translations really soon, to third world countries where you can't effectively chase payments. Your clients will probably shy away as soon as they have found another translator willing to work for even cheaper fees than yours.

The freelancer's directory of ProZ is somewhat useful; but I have yet to see a posted job that makes me really keen on bidding for it.

This assessment goes similarly for all the other common translator sites (aq/us, t/café, go etc.). It's my subjective opinion and experience; your mileage may vary.

P.

[Edited at 2005-10-04 13:27]


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Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Why not try the Diploma in Translation of the Institute of Linguists Oct 4, 2005

So far, I have rarely been asked for my certificates and I got most jobs due to my specialism and experience. So do not despair if you do not have a formal translators qualification and just go on what you can offer. However, I wouldn't shun a course completely, and you could do it on the side. I did a distance course in translation with a German distance learning institution and found it quite useful. A course also gives you some feedback on your work which is quite valuable. You could try the Diploma in Translation of the Institute of Linguists. You you can sit the exam even without having attended a course although there is a distance learning preparatory course available by the University London College (Link: http://www.city.ac.uk/languages/dtdl.html.) If you are interested, IOL also offers past papers, so you can see what their exams are like.

Good luck.

[Edited at 2005-10-04 13:54]


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