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Should I apply for work in target or source language?
Thread poster: Claire Loveridge

Claire Loveridge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
French to English
+ ...
Feb 27, 2006

Hi All

I've been lurking about for a while reading the forums for information (which have been very helpful btw, so thanks for that)

I've decided to go part time in my 'serious' job in order to pursue a lifetime ambition of translating which is very daunting, but helped by the knowledge that I am not alone.

I've now reached the stage where I have started to apply for freelance work with agencies both here and in France, and I don't know whether to send my email telling them how wonderful I am, and asking them to use me in French or in English.

Part of me says to stick with English as that's what I'll be translating into, so it shows them I can actually write in English, the other part says that maybe I _should_ translate it into French as it may be more helpful to them.

Help, does anyone have any ideas?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-02-27 21:37]


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Take a cue from your prospective clients Feb 27, 2006

In general, I would recommend you contact them in the language you will be translating into. Conveniently, your target language is English, which most translation agencies shouldn't have any trouble with. In the case of smaller agencies or direct clients, I would recommend taking a cue from their presentation materials. If their website, brochure, etc. is in only one language (say French or Russian, in your case), then I would contact them in that language as a courtesy. If their presentation materials are bilingual or multilingual, then I would expect it would be safe to contact them in English.

I am sure there are many other strategies

Best luck to you,

Susana


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:32
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Mainly English Feb 27, 2006

I'd use English, unless the agency is a French one. English is understoon practcally everywhere.

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
risk Feb 28, 2006

with a native language that you express yourself perfeclty in, that is also widely understood, why bother run the risk - greater or lesser - of showing yourself up in what is not your fisrst language:-)

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Claire Loveridge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Feb 28, 2006

Thank you for your help and support, I'll try in my mother tongue and hopefully it will get me some work

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Mrudula Tambe  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:02
English to Marathi
+ ...
I'll suggest to apply for the both Feb 28, 2006

When I apply I show the translation pair ABC XYZ. The both side arrows show that I'm working for both ends.

But another option is to make your mother-tounge or the language you are expert in as the target language. As one can express it better with wide variety of words at hand.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:32
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Write in their language, and summarise in the other Feb 28, 2006

clover73 wrote:
I've now reached the stage where I have started to apply for freelance work with agencies both here and in France, and I don't know whether to send my email telling them how wonderful I am, and asking them to use me in French or in English.


Write to them in their own language, but attach a summary of your services in both languages (or in the other languge). Do not assume your clients can understand the language they're paying you to translate into... but don't assume otherwise either


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:32
French to English
Clarification? Feb 28, 2006

I'm not sure I follow you. Are you wondering whether you should offer your services into English or into French, or are you talking about which language you should correspond in with potential clients?

If it's the former, I gather your mother tongue is English, so you should only be translating into English.

If you're talking about correspondence, then I see no reason why you shouldn't write to French agencies in French. I live in Quebec and correspond with all my Francophone clients in French.

Good luck!


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Claire Loveridge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification Feb 28, 2006

Hi

Sorry for not being clear, and thanks for all the helpful comments, its really appreciated.

Yes what I meant was whether to correspond with agencies in France in French (I translate into English).

Thanks again


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
English to German
+ ...
French Mar 6, 2006

It's a definite advantage if you can prove your ability to write and speak your source language - if in doubt have it proofed before sending it off.
I was once contacted by somebody from a London agency offering me a French-German job. We chatted for a while in English then he suddenly switched to French. After a few minutes he said, somewhat amazed, that my French was excellent and I got the job (and a few more).
Anyway, if your target language was French would you write to a British agency in French? Hmmm, I don't think so...


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Rosemary Harvey
Local time: 21:32
French to English
Both! Mar 14, 2006

I recently applied to quite a lot of agencies in both the UK and France/Belgium. I applied to the UK agencies in English and the French/Belgian agencies in French. This seemed to work as I had a good number of responses.

It seems to me to be polite to address the agency in their own language. However, I would recommend having a native French speaker check over your CV and letter/email before you send it - that's what I did.

Best of luck,

Rosemary.


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