How to work your PR
Thread poster: Alison Nolen
Alison Nolen
Local time: 17:45
Japanese to English
+ ...
Nov 9, 2007

Hello everyone,

I've just started trying to establish myself in the translation/editing world and of course I'm trying to learn the best ways to get myself out there. I've read many good suggestions on this forum and in other places, but I have a few questions I thought I'd throw out there to see what people think.

My primary concern is how to garner interest when I have no professional experience. I suppose that's the major issue when most people are starting out. Of course in the ProZ community there are options such as answering KudoZ questions and interacting in forums--I understand this boosts your visibility. Unfortunately when it comes to the "About me" field in applications, or the "PR" field in profiles for other sites, I'm at a bit of a loss. What conveys a serious attitude and catches attention?

Would it be prudent to state something about my education? And I've translated music lyrics and some personal interviews on my own time as a hobby. Would it be useful to append these as samples of my work, even though they weren't for clients? It may seem a silly question, but I'm not really sure what it is that clients look for in a translator.

Any help/opinions/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
My 2 cents Nov 9, 2007

OK, this might be easier the other way around:

Say that you own a small company (even a one-man show) which sells whatever. You find out that some good prospective providers and/or prospective customers can't speak nor read your language so you decide to translate a certain amount of your literature (website, contracts, presentations, promotional material... you name it). Imagine that you can't do the translations yourself (they speak a language that you know very little of). So you have to look for a translator - What would make you choose a translator over another?

On top of this creativity exercise, I'd recommend you to read the thread http://www.proz.com/topic/71730 on how not to promote yourself.

Good luck,
Jerónimo

[Edited at 2007-11-09 16:14]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:45
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
By all means! Nov 10, 2007

aeslis wrote:

Would it be prudent to state something about my education? And I've translated music lyrics and some personal interviews on my own time as a hobby. Would it be useful to append these as samples of my work, even though they weren't for clients? It may seem a silly question, but I'm not really sure what it is that clients look for in a translator.


I was about to say, fill out your profile and upload samples. And where better to begin but with yourself? Your education will give an indication of the kind of texts you might be prepared to handle. And samples coming from, say, a hobby, say something about your inclinations. I remember someone who linked his advertising to a website he had made for his dog, and now he's become an expert both on that breed and internet matters.

Songs, why not? Poetry, even better (not that the chances you'll end up translating poetry are high, but that's one form of literature that catches the eye). Even if the client only understands one side of your bilingual presentation, the rapport that you establish could be decisive.

As you progress, you'll get more PR material.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:45
English
+ ...
How about volunteering to translate something? Nov 18, 2007

That's how I started. I volunteered to translate a Dutch website that I found interesting. Of course, I didn't ask for money, but it gave me experience, and a sample I could use to show my work.

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Haiyang Ai  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:45
English to Chinese
+ ...
Open Source Projects Nov 18, 2007

Suzan Hamer wrote:
That's how I started. I volunteered to translate a Dutch website that I found interesting. Of course, I didn't ask for money, but it gave me experience, and a sample I could use to show my work.


That's a good way to get started. There're many open source projects which needs volunteer translator. You may check that out.

----------------------------------
English Chinese Translator
www.chineservice.com


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Alison Nolen
Local time: 17:45
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Appreciated! Nov 23, 2007

Thank you for all the wonderful advice. I shall certainly try the creativity exercise, upload samples, and look into volunteer translation. While I'd thought of the last I didn't know how wise an idea it really was--I've seen it suggested elsewhere that one shouldn't work for free, but it seems many people have started off that way.

I'm curious how one goes about finding these open-source projects, however?


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:45
English
+ ...
Opportunities for volunteer translating Nov 25, 2007

Perhaps there's a website that you see needs translating. Contact the website and offer to translate their site.

I'm talking more about websites of non-profit organizations, clubs, community groups, and so on, rather than commercial business websites. The website I volunteered to translate was about a local artist who I admire. I thought it a pity that only Dutch-speaking people could read the website, so I volunteered to translate it into English (there's a sample in my portfolio). I recently volunteered to translate the website of our local historical society. I figured they would never be able to afford a translator, and the information on their site was interesting to visitors and tourists who don't understand Dutch. I see nothing wrong with working for free; it can benefit you as well. It's a win-win situation. They get their website (or article) translated. You get experience (see the quote from Daniel Nogueira on my profile), and a sample for your portfolio. You also make a contribution to society. There's no reason why translators and other language professionals can't do pro bono work once in a while. With the emphasis on "once in a while."


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