ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas
Getting Back on the Horse After Years Away

ProZ.com Translation Article Knowledgebase

Articles about translation and interpreting
Article Categories
Search Articles


Advanced Search
About the Articles Knowledgebase
ProZ.com has created this section with the goals of:

Further enabling knowledge sharing among professionals
Providing resources for the education of clients and translators
Offering an additional channel for promotion of ProZ.com members (as authors)

We invite your participation and feedback concerning this new resource.

More info and discussion >

Article Options
Your Favorite Articles
Recommended Articles
  1. ProZ.com overview and action plan (#1 of 8): Sourcing (ie. jobs / directory)
  2. ProZ.com Translation User Manual
  3. Getting the most out of ProZ.com: A guide for translators and interpreters
  4. El significado de los dichos populares
  5. The difference between editing and proofreading
No recommended articles found.
Popular Authors
  1. Mark Thompson
  2. Arturo Delgado
  3. ICL
  4. Pura Murua
  5. Beatrice CT
No popular authors found.

 »  Articles Overview  »  Business of Translation and Interpreting  »  Getting Established  »  Getting Back on the Horse After Years Away

Getting Back on the Horse After Years Away

By transjapan | Published  08/30/2004 | Getting Established | Recommendation:
Contact the author
Quicklink: http://www.proz.com/doc/76
Author:
transjapan
United States
Japanese to English translator
 

See this author's ProZ.com profile
Getting Back on the Horse After Years Away
For some time now, life has been full of other interests and concerns like, say, building a family or working a 9 to 5 rather than nurturing a reputation as a linguistics expert. Life has changed. Now you are here, dusting off your virtual power suit, pulling out all the dictionaries that have languished for years on the shelf beside "What to Expect...", and trying to oil those joints and come back up to speed.

You have perhaps just completed your first paid translation in a long long time. It was satisfactory. Just. Or perhaps it was awful and you are studying your navel, wondering what happened to the wunderkind you were some years ago. Or perhaps it was some of the best work you have ever done, and you are now wondering why, in the first place, did you stop.

Well, you are getting back up on the horse, just as I have recently. Naturally, we will all have our own experiences, credentials, and ideas about the best way to proceed, but allow me to offer my two cents worth about those first few translation jobs after your long hiatus:

1) Don't bite off more than you can chew - Start small. Bid on a relatively small job to get your feet wet again. You will need to see how much rust has accumulated around your translation skills. Most clients will expect an estimate of how many words per day you can reasonably accomplish. Take something in the source language off your shelf, or visit a website created in the source language, and do a translation for yourself, just to have an idea of what to tell your potential client.

2) Specialize. Don't go too far away from your interests, hobbies, and experiences. You may be completely bilingual, but there are industries of which you may know nothing. There are constantly new technological developments that may make your passing knowledge obscure and out of date. Stick to your specialty. It will make for a happier client-translator relationship, as well as save you from a few overnighters doing excruciating research.

3) Relearn your craft. Brush up on your skills, your professionalism, new developments in computer software that may make your work easier (like Trados), etc. Read some of your old favorites in the language from which you will translate. Check out certifications and do a thorough self-assessment of your translation strengths and your "need to improve"s.

4) Check the online translation community often to stay abreast of new developments, average going rates for comparable work, new jobs coming down the pipeline, or just to remain active and visible. Reading How-Tos articles are an invaluable way to brush up on old skills, as well as learn new ones.

5) Lastly, do your research on payment methods in the industry, how to charge for your work, and how to make sure you are paid for your work as promised. Again, the online translation community, as well as the Better Business Bureau, are good places to start.

Hopefully, this will get you started, power up your skills again, and keep you sitting pretty atop that career horse and riding it all the way home. It's a bumpy ride at first but you are not alone.



Comments on this article

Knowledgebase Contributions Related to this Article
  • No contributions found.
     
Want to contribute to the article knowledgebase? Join ProZ.com.


Articles are copyright © ProZ.com, 1999-2017, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.
Content may not be republished without the consent of ProZ.com.