Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: Freelance translators: Did you work as an in-house translator before you became self-employed?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:32
SITE STAFF
Feb 11, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Freelance translators: Did you work as an in-house translator before you became self-employed?".

This poll was originally submitted by Claudia Digel

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heike Kurtz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:32
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Well - kind of Feb 11, 2007

I was not employed as a "translator". I was the managing director's secretary in a small company and therefore responsible for nearly everything. I did many translations, though.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:32
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
My experience Feb 11, 2007

This is an interesting question. I think that working as an in-house translator is a very profitable experience before you start working on your own.
I myself have done two kinds of translation jobs in my life. My first experience was in Argentina. I translated movies and TV programs for dubbing and subtitling. I did most of the work at home, but I often spent quite a few hours at my clients’ doing jobs that had more to do with the editing part than with translation, but which certainly helped me do a better job at home!
Translating movies is fun, but in my experience it’s rather tiring and even unprofitable. So although I liked it, I wanted a change.
My professional life made a U-turn when I moved to Italy. No more movies. Only technical stuff. Here I was lucky enough to get a job in no time at all. Actually, more than one job, with different agencies. One agency (my best client still today) kindly offered me an in-house position, which I accepted. I never regretted it! You learn a lot about how things work inside an agency, how it goes with clients, with PMs, translators, proofreaders, graphic designers, etc. You may also learn a lot from translators that are more experienced than yourself and you may help others who are still learning the ropes.
After a while, I realized it was time to “take off” on my own. And besides, as I kept finding new clients, I found it increasingly difficult to deal with both my in-house position and my other assignments.
Anyway, I think it was a very valuable experience, and you get a taste of teamwork and social interaction that you can only dream of while working on your own!


[Edited at 2007-02-12 06:39]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:32
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Similar to my case! Feb 11, 2007

hkurtz wrote:
I was not employed as a "translator". I was the managing director's secretary in a small company and therefore responsible for nearly everything. I did many translations, though.


Hallo hkurtz, grüß Dich!

I did live and work in a German building contractor company ("Bauträgerfirma") - and being there, far away from Spanish-speaking Montevideo, and being almost "the only one in town to speak Spanish and German", I realised: how beautiful it is to translate and interpret...!

Strictly speaking, I've never been an in-house translator with degree and all that jazz - but I DID WORK as such!

That is how my online-translation story started out... "BEING THERE"!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:32
English to Indonesian
+ ...
My Own Experience Feb 11, 2007

I have been a freelance translator since 1990 until now. I really love working as a freelancer. However, I am also curious about being an in-house translator. Both are concerned with translation, but there may be greatly different working experience and atmosphere.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:32
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I did and it was extremely helpful Feb 11, 2007

I worked as an in-house translator before became self-employed and IMO, it helped a lot by giving me the basis of the profession. It taught me things that otherwise I would not know from studing or my own experience. I was a new, inexperienced translator at that time and just being around established translators/managers, who had worked with translations for a long time, was priceless to me.

Monika


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:32
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
RAF and BBC Monitoring experience Feb 11, 2007

I suppose you might say I worked as an “in-house translator” from 1953 to 1990; up to 1961 in the RAF & later for BBC Monitoring. But it wasn’t translating documents, it was listening to radio communications in the RAF and radio and TV broadcasts at BBC Monitoring, and translating what we heard. I began freelance translating in 1965, mostly in my spare time, but fortunately, at BBC Monitoring, though we could be frantically busy at times, there were other times when you finished covering one bulletin and were waiting around for the next one, and no-one minded if you filled in this time with a bit of freelance work, which I often did – unlike many offices, where if you aren’t looking busy, you’ll probably be found some awful chore to do, or be reprimanded for slacking. This was also true in the RAF, though not so much so in my translating experience as before 1953, when I was an engine fitter. The theory was that if you weren’t busy and wanted to look as if you were, you should walk round the airfield perimeter track carrying a spanner and a greasy rag (I don’t know if that worked, I never tried it).

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 07:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Providian Financial Feb 11, 2007

Yes, I worked as in-house translator for Providian Financial (now Banco Meridian) and it was a very enriching experience.

At the beginning I felt a bit confused as all my 'internal' clients had the same hierarchy (well, except for the Big Boss, of course) and it was sometimes difficult to tell the CFO that I was working on a contract for the COO and so his/her contract would be put in the translations queue.

I also remember a glorious day: I went to a bookstore and bought some 40 dictionaries. Wow...

Au

[Editado a las 2007-02-11 20:30]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:32
French to English
Freeform Feb 11, 2007

I started out as a freelancer in 1995, working from my laptop, taking anything that I could get and charging pennies for it. After not too long I began working as a contractor - but on the premises - for translation agencies including DLA (now International Communications) in San Francisco and then Adams Translation (now Localization) in Austin TX.

I was happy as a contractor (not affected by politics = few headaches), but then the offer of a permanent position with benefits seemed like a smart idea. Wrong! Soon I was dealing with all the troubles inherent in permanence, plus long hours, and then I would go home and try to finish freelance work that interested me much more. What a mess! I'm much happier working just for myself and that's what I've been doing since 2000.

I can see working full-time in a company, especially if their line of business were interesting, but not another translation agency.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:32
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Yes, three months as a trainee Feb 11, 2007

Before I started as a full-time freelancer I was a trainee translator at a local translation agency (a small branch office of a big international company). I got a few credits for my studies and a small salary (perhaps "pocket money" would be a more accurate term,...), but I worked quite as hard as anyone in the office. It was very a very educational and valuable experience in many ways, but now that I have established myself as a freelancer, I would not go back to working in-house.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 05:32
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Feb 12, 2007

Twice - 7 months and >2.5 years, some of the latter in a PM capacity. I'm glad I did and I'm glad I don't do it any more. In terms of experience and a stuffed piggybank of connections and business savvy those short years are absolutely invaluable. I would highly recommend all the newbies to try it once. By all means, this is not the only or mandatory path to freelancing but it wouldn't hurt for sure, IMHO. I still work for that agency now and then, it's been 15 years of business friendship. Don't have to worry about payments:-)

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:32
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Working at a playstation magazine Feb 12, 2007

I have worked at a play station magazine (1999-2001) before becoming a freelance translator. But I still dream of becoming a translator working for a big company.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes... sort of... Feb 12, 2007

I worked as a freelancer, then as an in-house translator at an agency, then went back to freelancing.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
26 years! Feb 12, 2007

Cecilia Civetta wrote:

I think it was a very valuable experience, and you get a taste of teamwork and social interaction that you can only dream of while working on your own!


[Edited at 2007-02-12 06:39]


There's no substitute for the constant feedback from colleagues. Also, it's humbling! You never get too big for your boots because there's always someone at your side who might have a better idea.

And you gain a sense of proportion about what's desirable and not desirable in a translation. You learn to value a really good translation and you don't freak out over mistakes.

I had 6 years with the Organization of American States and 20 years with the Pan American/World Health Organization. The OAS system was great because there was no "hierarchy" with revisers being better than their colleagues. In the OAS after a couple of years on the job you became a reviewer, and they were all on a par, taking turns reviewing one another.

Geez! Since I've been a free lance for 14 years, that makes a total of 40... Ouch!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:32
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sort of... Feb 12, 2007

I worked in a Spanish multimedia company as an administrator, but was employed because I spoke English and Spanish fluently. Although I had to do a lot of general administrative tasks, most of my time was spent doing technical translations and telephone and liaison interpreting. That job is what persuaded me that I wanted to become a translator, and the experience I gained from working there was invaluable.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

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

Poll: Freelance translators: Did you work as an in-house translator before you became self-employed?

Advanced search






PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



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