Novice Interpreter (New York)
Thread poster: Jonathan Forte
Jonathan Forte
English to Spanish
Nov 4, 2005

Hello everybody,

My name is Jonathan Forte, and I just finished registering
at this site.

For the past year and a half, I have worked as a freelance
interpreter (English/Spanish), and I absolutely love it. I
am also enrolled in the court interpreting program at New
York University. At this time, I have one more class to
complete until I obtain my professional certificate.

As I am sure many of you know, it is not always easy to get
jobs. Presently, I am working for about nine different
agencies that are located in New York, and even so, there
are days when I do not get work.

My instructor at NYU suggested that I try to look for my
own clients, but this seems like a daunting task. Does
anybody have any tips or pointers about how I should go
about doing that?

I also just took the New York State certification exam in
September (the written part), so I am waiting for the
results. I also plan on taking the New Jersey state test in
the next few months.

Sometimes I just become a little discouraged because I am
still relatively new with this. I sometimes think that
maybe it might be better to look for an ordinary full-time
job until I pass a state or federal examination.

Do you think that freelance interpreters are able to
receive enough work that allows them to support
themselves?

THANK YOU SO MUCH for any advice! >>>>>>>>>>>>>


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John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:50
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Have patience Nov 4, 2005

Jonathan Forte wrote:


Sometimes I just become a little discouraged because I am
still relatively new with this. I sometimes think that
maybe it might be better to look for an ordinary full-time
job until I pass a state or federal examination.


THANK YOU SO MUCH for any advice! >>>>>>>>>>>>>

In the beginning it's hard to survive because you don't have enough work. Then it becomes hard to survive because you have too much work.


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Carolyn Denoncourt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
You are in the best location. Nov 5, 2005

As in interpreter looking for work in the United States, you can't find any better location that New York. You might also want to go the United Nations Secretariat building in Manhattan and start the application process (there will be testing). It is an interesting place to work, or you may ask them to refer you to agencies to whom they give sub-contracts. The "missions to the UN" of the various countries (similar to embassies) are also good places to inquire for freelance work or in-house work. Persevere. If you are good you will have more and more repeat business.

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Teresa Duran-Sanchez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:50
German to Spanish
+ ...
Take it easy Nov 8, 2005

In the beginning it's hard to survive because you don't have enough work. Then it becomes hard to survive because you have too much work.


So true, John! We tend to complain for not getting enough and when we´ve got too much, we miss the old times when we had nothing to do but die of hunger and read, walk in the sunshine, and flirt with the sparrows (when there were no chaps around, I mean).

Jonathan: I guess NY is pretty expensive, that´s why you feel YOU NEED to work every day, but have a look at your purse and if you´ve got enough to eat, just relax and enjoy your free time. You´ll be busy enough in a couple of years´ time.

I had to work too much while I was living in London, now I´m back in my (wonderfully cheaper) home country and I have time to read the newspaper everyday (WOW!) and dive in the sea now and then, what else can I ask for?

Freelancing is marvellous, at least on the short scale. You can get up when you want, travel around when flights are cheap and there are no queues to get an ice-cream... If you get a "steady job", you´ll surely regret it, Jonathan.

Good luck

Cid


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Jonathan Forte
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
ATA Nov 9, 2005

Hello all,

I just wanted to thank you all for the great advice. I am sorry--I did not mean to make it seem as if I am a chronic complainer.

I will keep at it and see what happens. The court interpreting program at NYU is a great one, and the constant practicing is building my self-confidence. My current teacher is one of the best instructors I have ever had.

It is true--once I do start receiving more jobs, I will probably regret the days when I used to have more free time.

Besides, now that I have had a taste of this lifestyle, it really would be difficult for me to do something else. The only full-time position that I can ever imagine accepting would be a position in the state or maybe even federal (if it came to be) court system.

I have a quick question. I know that the ATA certification exam is designed for translation, but do interpreters generally take this exam as well?

Thanks again!


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Zhijun JIANG  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:50
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Publicity and reputation helps you get clients Dec 17, 2005

As an insider in this field, I have some direct clients from China and all part of the world, including US. Your publicity will bring more clients to you, but whether you can make them your regular clients depends on your way of doing things and proficiency.

Take it easy. It's take time and efforts to be a qualified interpreter.


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